We all know by now the amazing benefits of breast milk. But now Scientists Discover Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells too! Read on to learn more about this amazing research breakthrough, then keep reading for 5 more lifelong benefits of breast milk.
Scientists Discover Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells
The benefits of “liquid gold” not only provides babies with the perfect nutrition. It goes beyond that. Now Swedish scientists Discover Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells. They discovered it “accidentally” when they saw that breast milk killed tumor cells during an experiment.
The benefits of breast milk are simply AMAZING!
It was Professor Catharina Svanborg, an immunologist at Lund University in Sweden, who made the discovery when working on antibiotics.
“We were looking for novel antimicrobial agents, and new breast milk is a very good source of these,” Svanborg explains to the DailyMail. “During one experiment we needed human cells and bacteria to be present, and we chose human tumor cells for practical reasons. To our amazement, when we added this compound of milk, the tumor cells died. It was a totally serendipitous discovery.”
To everyone’s amazement, trials in patients with bladder cancer have already yielded promising results and researchers believe the compound breast milk contains – nicknamed Hamlet (stands for Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells) – will also help tackle bowel and cervical cancer.
How does breast milk fight cancer cells?
“There’s something magical about Hamlet’s ability to target tumor cells and kill them,” Svanborg explains.
She goes on to say that it seems these cells can home in on cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed – meaning, of course, it has none of the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy.
Professor Svanborg explains that human breast milk contains a protein called alpha-lactalbumin, which is transformed into a cancer-fighting agent when in the gut.
The substance attacks cancer cells in numerous ways – first evading the cell’s outer defenses, then targeting the “power station” mitochondria and the “instruction manual” nucleus. These actions essentially cut off the cell’s energy source and “program” it to commit suicide, in a process called apoptosis.
According to the press release, early trials in patients with bladder cancer show those injected with Hamlet start shedding dead tumor cells in their urine within days. Further research is currently underway. While experts say that it’s unlikely breast milk alone with kill cancer, it may soon become part of an overall cancer-fighting regimen.
Even if trials find that it only helps a little, that’s still a big deal! When it comes to fighting cancer, every little bit helps. Plus, with so many other benefits of breast milk, you really can’t go wrong in giving it a try. What other benefits, you ask? Let’s talk about a few more lifelong positive effects of breastfeeding your baby.
5 Lifelong Benefits of Breastfeeding
We all know about the short-term benefits of breastfeeding, right? If you need a refresher, they range from providing your baby with perfect nutrition to helping stave off common infections during infancy. Did you know, though, that some of the benefits will last throughout your child’s entire life? Let’s check out a few of them!
1. May improve your child’s overall IQ
While scientists are still going back and forth on this one (some studies prove otherwise), at least one major study has linked breastfeeding to an overall higher IQ throughout your child’s life. Part of the reasoning has to do with how breast milk affects brain development (literally, as in the grey matter that makes up your brain).
2. Significantly reduces your child’s future risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Scientists at Kaiser Permanente found an incredible link between breastfeeding and lower risk of developing diabetes, according to the Telegraph. In babies breastfed for at least six months, their risk was slashed by a whopping 47%. Even babies breastfed for less than six months still see at 25% reduction in their risk.
3. Lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer
Good news, mama, the benefits of breastfeeding don’t just affect your baby; they can also help keep you healthy throughout your own life. Studies show that moms who breastfeed may have a significantly lower chance of developing premenopausal breast and ovarian cancer. Even the CDC recommends it as a way to reduce your risk.
4. Lowers your child’s risk of obesity
The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that babies who are exclusively breastfed may have a significantly lower chance of being overweight in their later childhood years. Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States and can lead to a myriad of other problems later in life.
If you want to read more about how to lower your kids risk of obesity, please see my post Going To Bed Early Is Best For Kids. You will be surprised to know that an early bedtime routine can bring lots of health benefits in the future.
5. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing serious allergies later in life
A study done by the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology found that breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing asthma and general allergies later in life (think pollen, dust, and dander). Other experts believe that it may also lower their risk of food allergies, since many types of foods are introduced early through breast milk.
Even if many of the benefits of breastfeeding are merely “potential” and “possible” advantages, it definitely falls into that “really can’t hurt to try” category, especially since there are so many proven benefits of breast milk.