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Natural remedy for infections in preemies--breast milk

Harold Mandel's picture
A newborn baby and mother

Researchers have found a protein in breast milk that lowers hospital-acquired infections in preemies.


Infections in preemies can be a very serious problem. A natural remedy for this life threatening problem is welcomed.

The University of Missouri-Columbia reports a breast milk protein has been discovered which safely lowers infections acquired in preemies in hospitals. The American Academy of Pediatrics wanted to decrease hospital acquired infections seen in neonatal intensive care units across the United States. In response to this initiative researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the MU Sinclair School of Nursing have discovered this protein in breast milk. It is safe and efficient.

Most of diseases which affect newborn preemies are hospital-acquired infections

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Michael Sherman, MD, who is a professor emeritus in the Department of Child Health at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of this study, says most of diseases which affect newborn preemies are hospital-acquired infections. These infections include pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary tract infections.

Lactoferrin, which is a protein found in breast milk, could lower hospital infections in preemies

The researchers found that lactoferrin, which is a protein found in breast milk, could lower hospital infections in preemies. It was observed that the rate of hospital-acquired infections was 50 percent less in infants who were fed lactoferrin. This protein was also found to be safe for preemies.

Hospital-acquired infections costs $9.8 billion to treat each year

Sherman says lactoferrin can cost about $25 to $500 per dose. This is significant in view of a study which has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that hospital-acquired infections costs $9.8 billion to treat each year.

This study has been published in The Journal of Pediatrics. The researchers has a goal of evaluating the safety and explore the efficacy of recombinant human lactoferrin to lower infections in preemies. They found a trend toward lower infectious morbidity along with no clinical or laboratory toxicity with lactoferrin. This milk protein seems to hold great promise in the fight against hospital acquired infections in preemies.