Breast Feeding

Goats Milk to Mimic Breastmilk

This is yet another reason you should just brestfeed your baby. We try so hard to “modify” everything to be like breastmilk. Why not just feed them the real thing? Our body creates the right milk for our baby. It also changes as your baby gets older to cater to his/her nutritional needs.

Eurekalert reports that:

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have genetically engineered goats to produce an antibacterial milk that could eventually help protect children from diarrheal disease.

The goat milk was engineered to contain lysozyme, an important antibacterial component of human breast milk that is substantially lacking in the milk of dairy animals.

Lysozyme is a protein found in the tears, saliva and milk of all mammals. It is found at high levels in human breast milk, however goat’s milk contains only 0.06 percent as much lysozyme as does human milk. Lysozyme inhibits the growth of bacteria by destroying the bacterial cell wall, causing the contents of the cell to leak out.

Because lysozyme limits the growth of bacteria that cause intestinal infections and diarrhea, and encourages the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, lysozyme is considered to be one of the main components of human milk that contribute to the health and well-being of breast-fed infants.

For more than a decade, UC Davis researchers have been looking for ways to enrich the milk of cows and goats with some of the beneficial compounds like lysozyme that are found in human breast milk. About eight years ago, they used gene-transfer technology to develop a line of transgenic dairy goats that carry the gene for human lysozyme and, consequently, produce human lysozyme in their milk.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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