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Breast-Milk Fights Rotavirus.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea in kids. In many third world countries, complications from diarrhea are the number one cause of death of infants and young children. It now appears that a constituent of breast milk, lactadherin, has an anti-rotavirus activity.

Researchers monitored the stool of 200 breast-fed infants living in Mexico City for the presence of rotavirus. They started as soon as the babies were born, and continued until they were four weeks old. Thirty-one of the infants developed rotavirus infection: 15 with symptoms, 16 without.

The researchers also took samples of the mothers' breast-milk, measuring the lactadherin levels. They found that the higher the lactadherin level, the lesser the risk the baby had a rotavirus infection.

This discovery may lead to new oral medicines that fight rotavirus infections. It also demonstrates, once again, the benefits of breast-feeding.

Lancet, 4/17/98.

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Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Date:Nov 1, 1998
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