Scientists confirm cancer-fighting protein in breast milk
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, September 30 - 2012 at 13:39
- PRESS RELEASE
Medical studies have confirmed the presence of a protein in breast milk that helps to combat cancer. Known as Trail, the protein is not found in artificial milk - and many experts have viewed this as further evidence that breastfeeding is superior to formula in safeguarding the health of both the mother and baby.
When the same tests were carried out on artificial milk, no traces of Trail proteins were found.
This means a baby that is not breastfed would have to rely on the Trail proteins in its bloodstream, whereas a breastfed baby enjoys an enormous advantage of 400 times more protection than formula-fed babies.
When reached for comment, Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Director of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign, described the findings as highly positive and encouraging, adding, "The remarkable aspect of breast milk is that its natural benefits are far ahead of current medical technology. For example cancer has baffled the medical fraternity for centuries, yet research suggests that breast milk already had some of the answers for combating cancer all along."
In even more positive news for breastfeeding advocates, scientific studies have noted that it is not just one type of cancer that can be prevented through breast milk, but several childhood cancers like lymphoblastic leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and neuroblastoma, among other cancers.
The latest studies come at a time when the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign has stepped up its efforts to get workplaces, nurseries and public places on board its breast-feeding drive, by making their premises more convenient for mothers. In a sign that the campaign is attracting grassroots support, the institutions that received accreditation from the campaign are proudly displaying their accreditation certificates as a prominent sign of support.
Summing up the implications of the research studies for local mothers, Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, commented, "It is reassuring for any mother to hear that they can help to prevent their baby getting cancer, which would otherwise be incurable. In fact this is not one benefit but two benefits in one; because not only does breast milk help to prevent cancer in the first place, but if the cancer does appear then breast milk helps to fight it through the Trail proteins."
It is anticipated that further research could uncover even more cancer-fighting benefits of breastfeeding. New studies are currently underway to explore in detail the exact mechanism by which breast milk combats cancer, and the findings will be published shortly.
The Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign was initiated in March 2012 under the generous patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Budoor bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority 'Shurooq', President of the Campaign and Honorary President of the Breastfeeding Friends Association.
The campaign encompasses four initiatives:Breastfeeding-Friendly Nurseries, Mother and Baby-Friendly Public Places, Mother-Friendly Workplaces and Baby-Friendly Health Facilities. The campaign is sponsored by Sharjah Islamic Bank.
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