Breast Milk Cells: Bliss to Neonates
Breast milk is a complex mixture of interacting compounds including carbohydrates, proteins, antibodies, vitamins, growth factors, hormones, cytokines, and several immunizing factors for the newborn. Breast milk also encompasses epithelial cells, colostral corpuscles, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, mononuclear phagocytes and lymphocytes, with those of epithelial lineage forming the main bulk of cells within 2 weeks of establishing lactation. These complex mixtures of interacting components of breast milk contribute to the beneficial effects of breast feeding. This may extend well beyond weaning and has been shown to prevent or mitigate several diseases later in life. The cellular constituents of breast milk and its significance to the neonate for growth, immunity, and regeneration have been highlighted.
KeywordsMammary Gland Breast Milk Myoepithelial Cell Side Population Cellular Constituent
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