On the last seminar I attended in Glendale, CA about Genetically Modified Food (GMO), the devastating health effects of GMOs on the population, and Prop 37, I also found out about yet another “inconvenient truth” regarding…MILK!
The International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC), which is housed at the University of California, Davis has been working for years to reveal ground breaking scientific research and studies about the genes that are responsible for making milk.
The team studies the genes that are expressed in the mammary gland during pregnancy and lactation, and how these gene products work together to produce milk – a “ marvellous fluid”, like Danielle Lemay, PhD likes to call it.
The results of their excellent and interesting scientific information about milk (raw milk and mothers’ milk specifically), is published in a newsletter called Splash!, which seemed to be yet another “threat” in the eyes of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its agenda. Why? Simple. Because infant formula and pasteurized milk are promoted through heavy marketing as being the only forms of dairy (or white chalk) that humans can still enjoy these days. Because any attempt to fight this agenda has to ultimately be destroyed before too many people find out about it.
So that’s why it was carefully “suggested” for certain information provided by this newsletter to be immediately stopped…And at this date, a certain article on raw milk and its benefits can NOT be read in the October issue of Splash! anymore. It has been “delicately” removed and now if you want to access it, the site will tell you that you have “Insufficient Privileges”. So how does censoring scientific papers sit well with ACADEMIC FREEDOM?
Now as a nutritionist, I will rather point out the health benefits of healthy foods like raw milk and breast milk and reveal the amazing mechanisms Mother Nature has provided us to ensure healthy offspring. Facts that for sure, you won’t find out from the FDA, the infant formula producers and the commingled, GMO, pasteurized dairy producers.
Imagine if you only had to drink and eat one thing–a magic potion–and that this magic potion contained all of your necessary calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients including special molecules that feed good gut bacteria, an arsenal of both passive and active immune protectors, and stem cells. The potion also makes you smarter. It makes you happier. And best of all, the potion is formulated just for you, based on your environment and the genetics of your mother. That potion is mother’s milk. (Danielle Lemay, PhD)
Below I’ll summarize some of the very interesting and not so known aspects that the International Milk Genomics Consortium is researching about milk and breast milk:
Different Breast Milk For Girls and Boys?
Do humans produce sex biased milk? Researchers have hypothesized that biases in milk synthesis may contribute to the differences in post-natal growth trajectories between sons and daughters and data are starting to support, in part, these hypotheses.
In 2010, Powe et al. reported that among 25 Boston-area women, mothers of sons produced ~25% higher energy density in milk than mothers of daughters. More recently, Fujita and colleagues (2012) revealed sex-biases in the milk fat concentration among 72 women in rural Kenya. On average, mothers of sons produced significantly higher fat concentrations in milk.
However, other parameters, such as infant mass and maternal mass, parity, and access to resources, can also play mediating roles. Because relatively little research effort has been dedicated to investigating sex-biased milk synthesis, there are still many questions to be answered. For example, to what extent are other constituents, such as hormones, similar or different in milk produced for sons vs. daughters? How do sons and daughters differently utilize milk from the mother? What are the signals and mechanisms through which the mammary gland “knows” it’s synthesizing milk for a son or a daughter?
Understanding how milk varies among mothers is critically important for human health. These complexities can be translated into optimal selection of donor milk for at-risk NICU babies and in the modification of commercial infant formulas.
Many Vital Nutrients Absent From Commercial Formula But Present In Breast Milk
These are all nutrients that are destroyed, unavailable, altered or inhibited in commercial baby formulas, but they are present in breast milk:
- Anti-microbial enzymes
- Biodiverse probiotics
- Essential omega-3 & -6 fatty acids
- Lactase-producing bacteria
- Delicate proteins
- B-12 binding protein
- Bioavailable vitamins
- Bioavailable calcium
- Bioavailable phosphorus
- Phosphatase enzyme
- IgA/IgG Antibodies
- Bifidus Factors
In addition to all that, it’s been discovered that Activin A and S100B are two brain proteins that might be critically important for the infants to ingest. The concentration of both Activin A and S100B is higher in the mother’s milk than in her bloodstream. This means the high concentration of these proteins in milk is on purpose rather than a byproduct of the mother’s circulation. Also, the concentration of S100B in human breast milk is higher than in the milk of other domestic dairy animals. Differences in the concentration of the brain protein S100B in milk between human and non-human species likely reflect the greater post-natal neurodevelopment of the human neonate.
The absence of Activin A and S100B in commercial baby formula could be a result of lower concentrations in cow’s milk to start with, but the amount of these proteins may also be diminished during commercial food processing.
Breast Milk Sugars Protective For The Infant’s Intestines
A large part of human milk cannot be digested by babies and seems to have a purpose quite different from infant nutrition — that of influencing the composition of the bacteria in the infant’s gut.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have found that a particular strain of bacterium, a subspecies of Bifidobacterium longum, possesses a special suite of genes that enable it to thrive on the indigestible component of milk. This subspecies is commonly found in the feces of breast-fed infants. It coats the lining of the infant’s intestine, protecting it from noxious bacteria.
The complex sugars were long thought to have no biological significance, even though they constitute up to 21 percent of milk.Besides promoting growth of the bifido strain, they also serve as decoys for noxious bacteria that might attack the infant’s intestines. The sugars are very similar to those found on the surface of human cells, and are constructed in the breast by the same enzymes.
This can be seen as “an astonishing product of evolution,” one which has been vigorously shaped by natural selection because it is so critical to the survival of both mother and child. From the infant’s perspective, it is born into a world full of hostile microbes, with an untrained immune system and lacking the caustic stomach acid which in adults kills most bacteria. Any element in milk that protects the infant will be heavily favored by natural selection.
Do The Infant Formulas Have The Right Type Of Fats?
Human milk fat is made up of over 150 different types of fatty acids!! While the mammary gland is able to synthesize many of these fatty acids, others must be supplied by fats in the mother’s diet. As human mothers are not consuming identical diets, it is not surprising that human milk fatty acid profiles vary widely among populations. So one type of fat (like found in commercial formulas) doesn’t fit all!
For the majority of human evolution, diets lacked domesticated meats, dairy, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils. Human milk fatty acid synthesis and infant postnatal patterns of growth and development evolved during a time when mothers consumed pre-agricultural diets, so the best model for human milk may come from human populations consuming a traditional diet. For example, Tsimane women in Bolivia produce milk with more DHA and fewer fatty acids from processed foods than American mothers.
Several studies have demonstrated that a mother’s body composition, independent of diet, may also affect milk fat composition.
It is unlikely that pre-agricultural females attained a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 (the general cut-off between normal and overweight), so it seems plausible that milk synthesis would be affected by such dramatic changes in body composition, like we notice today in a obesity epidemic!
So what do all these facts mean after all? I’d say they are one more confirmation that Nature can’t be replicated and so true health can’t be mimicked. Breast milk offers unique, amazingly complex characteristics that are meant to ensure a healthy, vigorous start for a human being. Raw milk, from grass fed cows is a natural, healthy way to continue this kind of nourishment later on. We should use technology to find out more astonishing and useful information about these aspects, rather than making more dead, Franken-food in the lab!
by Raluca Schachter