Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: thedoc on 01/05/2013 16:30:01

Title: Cow milk proteins passed into human breast milk.
Post by: thedoc on 01/05/2013 16:30:01
Clara Garza  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Comment about flavours in breast milk (Naked Scientists, 25 july 2010).

Many things mother eats or drinks go into breast milk, including "bad" ones. My newborn developed a bad skin rash. Pediatrician and dermatologists had no clue. It turned out he was allergic to the protein in cow's milk which he was getting from my breast milk. When I stopped drinking cow's milk, most of his symptoms disappeared and I could continue nursing.

Someone out there may find this information useful.

C.

PS. I love the show (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/). Congratulations.

What do you think?
Title: Re: Cow milk proteins passed into human breast milk.
Post by: ezraudeleon on 20/07/2020 13:29:28
Proteins of cow's milk break down more slowly, requiring significant strain on the baby's digestive organs. Cow's milk contains not only a lot of protein, but also in quality it differs from breast milk and is a potential allergen for a baby.
Title: Re: Cow milk proteins passed into human breast milk.
Post by: evan_au on 20/07/2020 23:50:31
The human digestive system is very effective at breaking down proteins into their component amino acids.
- And the human gut does not absorb intact proteins - they have to be broken down first.
- The milk glands do not deliver fully-formed proteins from the bloodstream into the milk. They actually construct human proteins out of their constituent amino acids.
- So I doubt the interpretation that cows milk proteins consumed by the mother could pass intact to the baby.

In case of a severe allergy, milk from the mother's mouth could pass directly to the baby's skin
- Or it could be that the cow's milk was affecting the mother's health, which affected the baby
- Or it could just be a coincidence that the baby's rash disappeared when the mother stopped drinking cows milk

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_(nutrient)#Digestion