Boys and girls are definitely not equal when it comes to benefiting from various forms of infant nourishment.
The June edition of Pediatrics magazine published troubling findings based on a 24-month-long study by Fundacion INFANT in Buenos Aires. It seems that formula-fed infant girls developed a higher risk for respiratory infections than did breast-fed infant girls.
The study also indicated that breast-fed infant girls fare better at fighting off infections than do breast-fed infant boys. Researchers suspect that breast milk triggers a protective mechanism that's easier to activate in female babies.
Formula-fed infant girls, by the way, suffered more respiratory infections than did baby boys nourished by mom or by the bottle. That leaves baby girls on bottle formula at high risk. Researchers thus came away from the study strongly encouraging mothers to breast-feed infant girls, especially premature baby girls.
Scientists are searching for ways to unlock breast-milk's protective mechanism so they can develop therapies as effective as 5 or 6 vaccines. Any wailing baby receiving a needle in the doctor's office (or in the tushy, actually) would appreciate that!
Want to protect your little ones with the best nutrition possible to offset future disease? Here are some potential resources for you to check out:
- National Institutes of Health
- Guillermina Melendi, M.D.
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Instituto de Efectividad Clinica y Sanitaria in Buenos Aires
- Hospital de Pediatria Juan P. Garrahan in Buenos Aires
- Maternidad Sarda in Buenos Aires
- And my personal favorite: Almond Blossom Cafe.
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