Summary

Breast milk contains non-nutritive components whose impact on health outcomes we need to better understand. These bioactives are thought to protect against infection and inflammation and contribute to immune maturation, organ development and healthy microbial colonisation.

The many bioactive components of human milk include oligosaccharides, gangliosides, mucins, chemokines, cytokine inhibitors, growth factors and hormones. The three major human microbial bioactives which have been studied are lactoferrin, lactadherin and osteopontin. Metabolic hormones such as adiponectin are being increasingly studied. SigA is an antibody that plays a critical role in immune function, blocking pathogens by adhering to the gut lining. In this video, Ryan Carvalho talks about future perspectives in human milk bioactives.