A recent study shows that breast milk, which is known to provide a complete form of nutrition for babies, could also play a significant role in preventing heart diseases in prematurely born infants. One study cited in the article looked at 30 preterm-born adults who were assigned to receive exclusive human milk and 16 preterm-born adults who were assigned to receive an exclusive formula-based diet during their hospital stay at birth. However, the study showed that the smaller heart chambers were less profound for the exclusively human milk-fed group in comparison to those who were exclusively formula-fed, suggesting a potentially protective effect of human milk for heart structure. The researchers then identified potential reasons for why breast milk results in a lower risk of heart disease. Breast milk could help prevent heart disease by better-regulating hormones and growth factors, strengthening the infant's immune system, reducing inflammation and possibly improving the metabolism of the child. Identifying the key components within breast milk that result in improved heart health could pave the way for a more targeted approach to improve long-term cardiovascular wellbeing for those born prematurely.
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