A group of infants and mothers tested at UT Arlington have given researchers another reason to extol the unique properties of breast milk.
A team led by Sandy Dasgupta, Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has found evidence that breast-fed babies can metabolize the environmental contaminant perchlorate, decreasing their risks of detrimental developmental effects from exposure.
The research suggests a link between this characteristic and bifidobacteria, bacteria that is plentiful in the digestive systems of breast-fed babies.
The team’s work with 18 pairs of infants and mothers is detailed in the article “Breast-fed Infants Metabolize Perchlorate,” which was recently accepted for publication by the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.
“Both Centers for Disease Control researchers and our lab have previously observed that there is a higher concentration of perchlorate in breast milk versus formula. Although the merits of breastfeeding far outweigh any risk posed by this, it has caused some mothers concern.” Dr. Dasgupta says. “Our results suggest that nature has already devised a way to at least partly take care of it.”
Read more about Dasgupta’s study.