Breastfeeding Boosts Metabolites Important For Brain Growth


Published:

Preemies who primarily consume breast milk have significantly higher levels of metabolites important for brain growth and development, according to sophisticated imaging conducted by an interdisciplinary research team at Children’s National.

Breast milk is always better than formula because it provides critical nutrients and a diverse array of antioxidant protection as well

Earlier studies have shown that breast milk lowers the incidence of diarrhea, influenza and respiratory infections during infancy, while protecting against the later development of allergies, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.

Some studies have even suggest that children up to the age of one that are fed beverages other than breast milk are at risk of becoming malnourished.

The excitement around the impact of breast milk on microorganisms in the gut, called the microbiota, has largely focused on bacteria, with little known about fungi. But fungi could be important to the development of allergies or disease later in life. 

Babies fed a dairy-based formula grow up to have higher blood pressure than babies who are breast-fed.

“Our previous research established that vulnerable preterm infants who are fed breast milk early in life have improved brain growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. It was unclear what makes breastfeeding so beneficial for newborns’ developing brains,” says Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., director of MRI Research of the Developing Brain at Children’s National. “Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a non-invasive imaging technique that describes the chemical composition of specific brain structures, enables us to measure metabolites essential for growth and answer that lingering question.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 U.S. infants is born preterm. The Children’s research team presented their findings during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting.

The research-clinicians enrolled babies who were very low birthweight (less than 1,500 grams) and 32 weeks gestational age or younger at birth when they were admitted to Children’s neonatal intensive care unit in the first week of life. The team gathered data from the right frontal white matter and the cerebellum -- a brain region that enables people to maintain balance and proper muscle coordination and that supports high-order cognitive functions.

Each chemical has its own a unique spectral fingerprint. The team generated light signatures for key metabolites and calculated the quantity of each metabolite. Of note:

  • Cerebral white matter spectra showed significantly greater levels of inositol (a molecule similar to glucose) for babies fed breast milk, compared with babies fed formula.
  • Cerebellar spectra had significantly greater creatine levels for breastfed babies compared with infants fed formula.
  • And the percentage of days infants were fed breast milk was associated with significantly greater levels of both creatine and choline, a water soluble nutrient.

“Key metabolite levels ramp up during the times babies’ brains experience exponential growth,” says Katherine M. Ottolini, the study’s lead author. “Creatine facilitates recycling of ATP, the cell’s energy currency. Seeing greater quantities of this metabolite denotes more rapid changes and higher cellular maturation. Choline is a marker of cell membrane turnover; when new cells are generated, we see choline levels rise.”

Already, Children’s National leverages an array of imaging options that describe normal brain growth, which makes it easier to spot when fetal or neonatal brain development goes awry, enabling earlier intervention and more effective treatment. “Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy may serve as an important additional tool to advance our understanding of how breastfeeding boosts neurodevelopment for preterm infants,” Limperopoulos adds.

This article was republished from Prevent Disease.

See also:
The Backwards History Of Attitudes Toward Public Breastfeeding
11 Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Both Mom And Baby

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

July 18, 2019

Morning meetings and discussions can be amazingly productive. The Aquarius Moon is in a fine angle with Jupiter, a promoter’s delight. Positive thinking, clarity and receptivity to new ideas are fostered. Adding to the rosy glow is a midday trine between…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

July 2019

No Events
No Events

This meditation we'll do a brief chat about holly for the 8th month of the Celtic Tree Wheel of the year cycle. We will be working with holly and deer essences tonight. Please note this is only...

Cost: Pre-registered $10 or $15 at door

Where:
Healing Power Of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Suite A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: Healing Power Of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Join author Lois Hermann for the exclusive pre-launch of her book, Chronicles of Hope. Author meet-and-greet Presentation Book reading and Q & A Exclusive opportunity to purchase an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hunt Memorial Building
6 Main Street
Nashua, NH  03062
View map »


Sponsor: Lois Hermann & Associates
Telephone: 603-566-2193
Contact Name: Christine Snyder
Website »

More information

In collaboration with Sail Satori Instructors: Captain James Ashton and Peyton Pugmire Tuesday mornings, 7/9, 8/6, 9:30am-11:30am Thursday evenings, 7/18, 8/15, 6pm-8pm Sail away,...

Cost: $85 (Tuesday morning)/$97 (Thursday evening)

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
View map »


Telephone: 781-797-0389
Contact Name: Creative Spirit
Website »

More information

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in America. This two hour workshop will talk about how yoga can provide gentle and safe movement for all your joints with gradual progression....

Cost: $30 early-bird ($35 after 7/15)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough Shopping Center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Are you separated, divorced, or in the process of divorce? Whatever stage you are in—just considering divorce or many years post divorce—our Divorce Resource Nights have something for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Leading Edge Real Estate
1756 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

You can find love through online dating, if you know the best ways to approach it. At this dynamic workshop facilitated by Susan Trotter, Ph.D., you will learn how to have more fun and...

Cost: $39

Where:
Newton North High School
457 Walnut Street
Newton, MA  02460
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

July 19–22 Thai Yoga Massage (TYM) is an ancient healing art that combines the alignment of the breath, yoga asana, and mindfulness meditation of Metta (loving compassion) into a flowing...

Cost: $550

Where:
Frog Lotus Yoga
189 Beaver St. #207
North Adams, MA  01247
View map »


Sponsor: Triple Gem School of Thai Massage
Telephone: 508-510-0241
Contact Name: Jennifer Yarro
Website »

More information

July 19–23, 2019 Share family quality time together in a supportive community amidst the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. The retreat is open to parents, grandparents, and guardians with...

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Telephone: 866-264-5139
Website »

More information

July 19–21 Organic lunches, Friday night dinner, then 10-4 both days. Identification, product-making, direct experiential connection with the plants on 30 acres. Essences, self-care,...

Cost: $350

Where:
, VT


Website »

More information

Networking / Supervision / Support  We are a varied group of holistic practitioners in metro-west Boston and we welcome new practitioner-members. We invite any local practitioner,...

Where:
Lincoln, MA


Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur Annamaria

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn both the hands-on healing and the spiritual self-development applications of Reiki. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher) This one-day class covers the basic...

Cost: $150

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

July 20–21, 2019 Why Take Level I: Marconic ‘No-touch’ Healing Protocol? Marconics is hailed by spirit as ‘The Vehicle of Ascension.’ Whether you...

Cost: $450, $150 deposit holds your space.

Where:
Crystal Essence
39 Railroad St
Great Barringont, MA  01230
View map »


Sponsor: Marconics Southern New England Teacher Team
Telephone: 203-533-9633
Contact Name: Julie Oakes
Website »

More information

The Nourished Festival brings together over 100 brands exhibiting the best specialty diet products! The Festivals have five zones to visit: Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, Keto and Plant-Based....

Cost: $5-$15

Where:
DCU Center - North Exhibit Hall
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA  01608
View map »


Sponsor: The Nourished Festivals; Enjoy Life Foods
Telephone: 847-284-9997
Contact Name: Laura
Website »

More information

July 20–21, 2109 This program will run from 9:30am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. A 90 minute midday break is included. Class size is limited to 20 students only, be sure to...

Cost: $135

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags