Recenti Prog Med. 2006 Oct;97(10):519-27.
Breast milk: biological constituents for health and well-being in infancy.
Many factors are involved in infants' health; one of the most important of them may be the kind of early feeding. Recent evidences suggest that breastfeeding, in addition to its well-established beneficial effects during lactation period, provides also beneficial long-term effects, like the protection against infectious and immune-related diseases, a better cognitive development, a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome and of obesity. It has been reported that the early feeding mode affects growth and body composition and it could be considered a critical factor for metabolic development. Human milk is a source of different nutrients and bioactive factors, especially hormones and growth factors like leptin, ghrelin, insulin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) playing a role in food intake regulation, metabolism and body composition. In particular breast milk leptin may provide a physiological explanation for a number of advantages seen in reaching proper growth and energy balance in breast-fed infants compared with formula fed ones. Etiopathogenesis and therapeutic approach in common minor gastrointestinal diseases in infants are important subject of study for pediatricians. Colic, constipation and regurgitation can be considered feeding problems and they might benefit from dietary treatment. Regarding infantile colic, dietary modifications seem to be more suitable than pharmacological treatment in resolving symptoms; also prebiotics and probiotics are useful for this aim. The occurence of constipation is related to the kind of feeding and it is lower in breastfed infants. Moreover formulas with probiotics and beta-palmitic acid could promote a regression of symptoms. A dietary approach may be useful also in regurgitation. Anyway we have to remember that breastfeeding require a supplementation of vitamin D and K for some months and a correct weaning program is needed from the 5th-6th months of life to prevent iron deficiency.
PMID: 17263042 [PubMed - in process]
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