Over at Boing Boing a little while ago, Maggie Koerth-Baker linked to a study about breast milk and gut microbes:
Unfortunately, I spent far too much time on the tit for this to explain my UC. (My mom provided me with this delightful factoid, along with many, many belly laughs, when I attempted to pass off my enjoyment of cigarettes as oral fixation.) And the article bears this out, since presumably scientists have picked up on how we the reading public love to glom on to One! Single! Fix! Or explanation, really. Ahem:
Although the team only looked at mice, Kaetzel notes that several studies have found that breastfed babies are less likely to develop IBD later in life. “We’re not talking about black and white: you’re protected if you’re breastfed and not protected if you aren’t,” she says. “But I’d certainly argue that there’s a clear benefit.”
So, in my benefits corner:
– Plenty of breast milk. Lots of breast milk. Really, an ungodly amount of breast milk. (Shut up, Mom!)
– A diet full of fiber, or something
– A life without too many antibiotics
And in the drawbacks corner:
– the possibility that my mom’s breast milk didn’t have much SIgA
If pups that don’t get SIgA from their mothers have weird bacteria in their lymph nodes, could they then pass on different microbes to their own offspring, when the time comes for them to produce milk? “There could be some really exciting transgenerational consequences from not ingesting sIgA in mother’s milk,” says Hinde.
“Exciting” isn’t exactly how I’d put it, since A. and I are currently discussing pregnancy options with my gastro, but that question rose to my mind, too. I look forward to following this research.