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Breast milk, long revered for the nutritional advantages it gives a newborn, could be just as vital in terms of infant development, a leading scientist will claim this week. Up to three different types of stem cells have been discovered in breast milk, according to revolutionary new research.<br><br>
Dr Mark Cregan, medical director at the Swiss healthcare and baby equipment company Medela, believes the existence of stem cells means breast milk could help a child "fulfil its genetic destiny", with a mother's mammary glands taking over from her placenta to guide infant development once her child is born.<br><br>
"Breast milk is the only adult tissue where more than one type of stem cell has been discovered. That is very unique and implies a lot about the impressive bioactivity of breast milk and the consequential benefits to the breastfed infant," said Dr Cregan, who is speaking at Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative conference this week. His research has isolated adult stem cells of epithelial (mammary) and immune origin, with "very preliminary evidence" that breast milk also contains stem cells that promotes the growth of muscle and bone tissue...<br><br><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stem-cel...hy-breast-is-best-1825558.html" target="_blank">http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...t-1825558.html</a>
 

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I remember posting about stem cells in breastmilk a few years ago, it was discovered in Australia - I'll go and find the medical journal stuff where I read it originally for you ...<br><br>
but yes, breastmilk is wonderful and full of surprises!
 

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Hm, I wonder what the implications are for feeding donated milk- regarding the 'genetic destiny' part, that is. Does the baby take on certain developmental traits of the donor mom? Interesting.
 

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this kind of concerns me for it to be public info.<br>
I would hate for it to backfire. for example not allowing a woman to breastfeed bcs she has special needs or isn't "smart enough" etc.<br><br>
I always new breastmilk had millions of stuff in it that hasn't yet been discovered. so cool
 

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That's interesting, though I'm not really surprised, TBH. It will be interesting to see what function they have.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bedheadmaestro</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14719597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hm, I wonder what the implications are for feeding donated milk- regarding the 'genetic destiny' part, that is. Does the baby take on certain developmental traits of the donor mom? Interesting.</div>
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I don't think so. Stem cells (or any cell) from one person can't change the genetic code of another person-I mean, gene therapy can't even successfully do that. Not to mention that we've been using stem cells from bone marrow in transplant patients for quite a while.<br><br>
And actually-the article is wrong about breastmilk being the only adult tissue that has more than 1 type-bone marrow has at least 2 (hematopoietic and mesenchymal-I've seen them). Stem cells are actually found in lots of areas of the human body (from heart to teeth to gonads), but because they're not really useful for research (yet), so people don't generally know about them.
 
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