Immunomodulatory components of Human Colostrum and Milk (videos)

Immunomodulatory components of Human Colostrum and Milk

Helena Tlaskalova-Hogenova


Human milk is unique and complex secretion differing from lacteal secretions of other species. Besides nutrition, it provides protection during the newborn’s adaption to the extrauterine environment and reduces the morbidity and mortality caused by both infectious and non-infectious diseases. Its components act directly against infectious agents but they also accelerate the newborn's immune system development, increasing its capacity for defense and reducing the risk of allergy and other immune-related diseases. 

Cytokines show the most refined immunomodulatory effects, however oligosaccharides, hormones and other components affect the newborn’s immunity as well. Furthermore, milk components substantially affect the microbial colonization of infant’s mucosa, which substantially influences the development of all parts of the immune system. By increasing happiness, boosting the protective immunity and decreasing the risk of breast cancer, breastfeeding may have multiple benefits for the mother as well.

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