Saturday, July 13, 2013

Infant formula leads to diabetes, diabetics benefit from healthy gut

Infants that are fed formula rather than breast milk may experience metabolic stress that plays a role in long suggested long-term risks for obesity, diabetes and other diseases, say researchers.

In a nutshell, the researchers showed that the monkey subjects who were fed infant formula were larger and had a very different gut microbiome from their breastfed counterparts. The researchers concluded by saying that the choice of infant feeding had longterm health consequences. Well as I posted a few days back, despite studies like this that keep coming, breastfeeding rates keep declining and the use of infant formula  grows and grows.

And I don’t expect this to change anytime soon. As long as women’s personal, professional and social expectations are mismatched with reality, they will see these studies and look the other way. They will choose to leave their infant with a grandparent or other carer, return to the work that they perceive as their “real” job and enjoy a life that is independent of the needs of a breastfeeding infant. But the blame lies everywhere, life partners, extended family and friends, employers and society all play a big part in this very vexed issue.

Chance of a big shift in attitude? About as likely as the global dairy herds being struck down by a milk-contaminating affliction or scandal? But then again ... 

But while we’re contemplating what such a shift might mean, a corollary study looks at improving the health of the gut microbiome to reduce the inflammation of diabetes. A combination of probiotics and prebiotics may reduce levels of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, suggest findings of a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

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