Breast milk has bioactive properties capable of modifying the hereditary predisposition to develop certain diseases.

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The breastmilk It should not only be considered as a food, but also as an exceptional source of biologically active substances. In fact, it is not limited to providing the child with energy and nutrients for growth, but is also capable of stimulating and modifying the functioning of the child’s organism at various levels.

More and more studies document the biological properties of human milk components. “Breast milk is a food that interacts incessantly with the child, revealing itself in all aspects as a ‘living tissue’capable of activating, among other things, the relationship with the mother and making the immune system more capable of facing life’s challenges, including those related to infections, allergies, tumors and even chronic diseases in adults,” explains Riccardo DavanzoPresident of the Multidisciplinary Technical Operational Group on Breastfeeding of the Italian Ministry of Health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights how the health and nutrition of mother and child are closely related. In all respects, it is a privileged activity, both biological and relational. The promotion of optimal infant nutrition, such as that provided by breast milk, is part of a broader strategy aimed at protecting mothers and children, including from a mental point of view.

“This wide-ranging prevention perspective is recognized by Italian scientific societies in the perinatal and pediatric area, such as the Italian Society of Neonatology (SIN), the Italian Society of Pediatrics (SIP) and the Italian Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SIGO). ), which are increasingly committed to promoting breastfeeding. Furthermore, it is important to highlight that the Health Plan 2020-2025 recognizes the positive effect that breast milk has, in particular, on chronic diseases in adults, such as hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases,” says Davanzo.

Recent studies have shown that a type of nucleic acids known as microRNA. “They do not transmit genetic characteristics, but they modify the functioning of enzymes,” says Davanzo. “In other words, they are capable of modifying gene expression and, ultimately, hereditary predisposition to certain diseases. MicroRNAs in breast milk act at several levels,” he explains.

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