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REVIEW  IMMUNONUTRITION IN PEDIATRICS 

Minerva Pediatrics 2021 April;73(2):111-4

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06223-X

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Breast milk: more than just nutrition!

Giulia NUZZI, Irene TRAMBUSTI, Maria E. DI CICCO, Diego G. PERONI

Section of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy



From an evolutionary and nutritional standpoint, exclusive human milk feeding for the first 6 months of life, with continued breastfeeding for 1 to 2 years of life, is recognized as the gold standard nourishment for the infant: it is a species-specific food, with a composition designed by nature to better respond to the biological and psychological needs of the newborn/infant. Human milk contains many hundreds of bioactive molecules that protect newborn against infection and inflammation and contribute to immune maturation, organ development, and healthy microbial colonization. Compared with formula feeding, breastfeeding has been associated with decreased morbidity and mortality in infants and to lower incidence of gastrointestinal infections and inflammatory, respiratory and allergic disease. Here, we briefly review the nutritional and functional composition of human milk and provide an overview of its varied bioactive factors.


KEY WORDS: Milk, human; Immune system; Child; Parturition; Microbiota

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