Immunity outlined by early feeding mechanism

38 neonates born by C-section, 16 of which were exclusively breastfed, 9 combination fed and 13 formula fed, formed the basis of this study. Blood and stool samples were taken at birth then at 3 weeks of age. Findings suggest that T cells or Tregs expand within the first 3 weeks of life – most significantly in breastfed babies. Specific bacteria that support the function of these T cells were found in the breastfed babies’ group. Future research will focus on this mechanism in sick and preterm babies.

Wood HL, Acharjee, Pearce H, Quraishi MN, Powell RM, Rossiter AE, Beggs AD, Ewer AK, Moss P, Toldi G. Breastfeeding promotes early neonatal regulatory T cell expansion and immune tolerance of non-inherited maternal antigens. Basic and Translational Allergy Immunology.

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