That breast milk is best for babies is a widely known fact. Many infant formula manufacturers claim to be able to closely replicate the components of breast milk in their artificial baby milk. However, researchers have recently uncovered 100 components in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in the ingredients in formula.
Levels of nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals often significantly differ between breast milk and infant formula.
As Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, the Director of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign, explains:
“When it comes to carbohydrate content, breast milk triumphs over formula. It also comes out on top when comparing lactose levels. This lactose superiority is a double-sided advantage, because research has conclusively proved that lactose contributes to the development of a larger brain. This makes breast milk a “smarter” choice – both literally and figuratively.”
Proponents of infant formula have previously tried to argue that formula contains more of both protein and iron than breast milk. However, although true, the protein and iron found in breast milk is more easily digested by babies. In other words, the higher contents of protein and iron is necessary to make up for the fact that much of both nutrients will not be absorbed by the baby.
Additionally, the higher contents of some vitamins and minerals in formula compared to breast milk may actually be detrimental to babies. Getting too many vitamins and minerals can change the balance in the gut, leading to health problems.
Breast milk also contains living antibodies passed from mother to baby that can never be replicated in an unliving formula.
This news about the 100 components in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in formula comes amid a renewed push by the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign to promote the benefits of breast milk compared to formula. Currently in Sharjah, 40 percent of mothers resort to formula upon returning to work. The Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign hopes that this recent research will inspire mothers to think twice about using formula instead of feeding their babies breast milk.
As Dr. Al Ghazal comments:
“Our role is not to criticize artificial milk for the sake of being negative, but to constructively point out what is best for the baby. The undisputed facts show beyond a doubt that breast milk is vastly superior in virtually every vital area.”
Are you surprised that breast milk contains so many ingredients that cannot be duplicated in formula?