Health Information

Immune enhancing milk formulas


Manufacturers of infant formula for children assure: all of these mixtures are perfectly balanced and adapted for infants. If a mother has to artificially feed her baby due to health problems - yes, milk substitutes cannot be dispensed with. However, pediatricians note that it is not so rare that women, for good reason, do not want to breastfeed their baby for a long time or are not going to do this at all, relying on milk formulas. Common reasons for this decision are the desire to quickly get to work, the reluctance to lose the shape of the breast, the belief that lactation is already very weak, so it makes no sense to suffer from its establishment.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends adhering to breastfeeding in the first six months of a baby’s life, and then introducing complementary foods while maintaining access to breast milk for up to 2 years. Perhaps, the data below will help you in deciding on the method of feeding.

Immunity, Allergies, and Respiratory Diseases

The main problem of “artificers” children is reduced immunity. So, with the introduction of vaccines, the immune response is achieved faster in breast-fed children. The study was conducted by comparing the results of an immunological examination in children aged 1, 3, 6 months and a year. Conclusion - breastfeeding, in contrast to artificial, supports the immune system and prevents the development of allergic diseases.

With allergies or, worse, asthma, things are not going well for the “artisans”, and in all countries of the world. In Finland, studies have confirmed that eczema, atopic reactions, and food and respiratory allergies are much more common in children fed with milk replacers. In Brazil, the incidence of pneumonia in “artisans” is 16.7 times higher than in breast-fed children. In the United States, more than 1000 children were examined, trying to establish a connection between the type of feeding and recurrent bronchial obstruction, and the incidence of the disease in the “artisans” was 3 times higher. In a hospital in Toronto, more than 2,000 children were examined, and according to doctors, the risks of asthma and recurrent bronchial obstruction in “artisans” are 50% higher. In Western Australia, the results are similar: the risks are 40% higher.

In general, the analysis of statistics showed that in developed countries, where children are replaced with milk more often, they are more susceptible to respiratory diseases.


Digestion problems are often accompanied by artificial feeding. Researchers attribute this to the fact that breast milk has a significant protective effect in inflammatory bowel diseases. So, Canadian scientists, examining a group of children, found that those who were breast-fed had intestinal infections almost half as often.

Cases of diarrhea also occur in artificers at least 2 times more often.

Cardiovascular diseases

Mixture feeding in childhood can have a direct impact on adult health. This is due, firstly, to the fact that the blood pressure of the “artificers” is higher, and secondly, to the fact that breastfeeding reduces the level of cholesterol and lipoproteins. Thus, there is every reason to believe that proper breastfeeding provides low cholesterol in the future and is a prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes and obesity

Another unpleasant conclusion reached by scientists in several countries at once: “artificers” often have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But breastfeeding for at least the first 5 months of life is an excellent prevention of this disease.

As for obesity, children who are fed breast milk substitutes are much more susceptible to it. Scientists attribute this to the presence in it of a number of hormones that are absent in mixtures. It should be borne in mind that obesity can occur far from immediately - already at school age. But if you breast-feed at least 6 months, then for a child the risk of obesity is reduced by 60%.

Mental development

Here, scientists also observe a clear correlation: breastfeeding has a much better effect on the intelligence and cognitive abilities of children. One hypothesis connects this with the effect of breast milk on brain growth, especially white matter.

Children who were fed artificially showed lower results in all tests in terms of intelligence, motor skills, and speech.

Breastfeeding reduces the incidence of cancer and multiple sclerosis. Some studies reveal a very specific relationship between artificial nutrition and the incidence of autism. "Artists" are also more likely to suffer from otitis media and decreased visual acuity. Finally, neonatal mortality among “artisans” is greater than among children who received breasts on the first day of life. The same applies to sudden infant death syndrome.

Against the background of such disappointing facts, the risk of malocclusion in children eating a mixture from a bottle looks already very insignificant.

Scientists all over the world indicate that the emergence of various diseases in children and artificial feeding are directly related. Therefore, if your baby is “artificial” involuntarily, pay maximum attention to his health. If you doubt whether to spend a year living on breastfeeding, we hope that you will come to the conclusion: for the health of your baby, breast milk is the most important thing that cannot be replaced with anything.

What mixtures can be attributed to a new class?

Nestle has developed new adapted mixtures NAN 1 PROTECT START and NAN 2 PROTECT PLUS - respectively, for newborns and babies in the first months of life and for children in the second half of life. Since the first year of the baby belongs to a critical age, the ability to increase the activity of the immune system during this period due to the optimal nutrient mixture is a very important point in feeding the baby.

The first work for immunity: the formation of intestinal microflora

As you know, the colonization of the body by intestinal microflora is a powerful stimulus for activation of innate and development of acquired immunity. Population of the intestines of the newborn is the first phase of the formation of tolerance of the infant's immune system to infection. An important aspect of the new trend in pediatric nutrition is the reduction in the level and change in the quality of protein in milk formulas.

Modern technology - for the benefit of the baby

Modern technological methods have allowed to remove casein (glyco-macropeptide) from the milk mixture and enrich it with alpha-lactoalbumin - this protein serves as a growth factor for bifidobacteria. According to available data, children who are breast-fed have a predominantly bifidoflora and show greater tolerance to infection, compared with children who are breast-fed. Thus, there was a need to enrich baby food with certain strains of beneficial bacteria.

What other beneficial substances are added to the nutrient mixture?

In addition, the NAN blend contains long chain fatty acids that perform important physiological functions. Such protective immunonutrients as zinc, selenium, arginine, as well as nucleoids, which contribute to the development of the central nervous system and the formation of the body's defenses, supplement the mixture.

Thus, the right choice of nutrient mixture for your baby helps to build the baby’s immune system. Modern infant formula meets all standards and requirements for baby food.

Expert Commentary

Ekaterina Pushkova, pediatrician, allergist-immunologist, Atlas Medical Center

The first thing you need to talk about when discussing the issue of feeding a baby in its first year of life is that the best nutrition for the baby is the mother’s breast milk, which has the optimal composition for this particular baby. Moreover, this composition is sensitively adjusted to the needs of the child at a time. Breast milk is not only an ideal food containing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, but also factors of the mother’s immune system, which contribute to the better adaptation of the child in utero.

And only in exceptional cases, when breastfeeding is not possible, should be considered mixed or artificial feeding with adapted milk mixtures. The first and main negative factor of milk mixtures was the “source material”, that is, cow protein, which has a high molecular weight and is difficult to digest and assimilate the baby’s digestive system. Pediatricians know that babies who use milk formulas better withstand the intervals between feedings and the night break - all because digestion takes much longer. Breast milk also contains, among other things, digestive enzymes that are why the intervals are shorter.

When choosing a mixture, many factors are taken into account, this is both age and related conditions that this particular child has. The pediatrician will help you choose the best mixture.

What is the health benefits of milk?

Milk contains a special type of sugar - lactose.

Its main advantages are that it:

  • is an ideal breeding ground for lactobacilli in the intestinal microflora,
  • refers to simple but slower-breaking down carbohydrates than other carbohydrates, which makes its absorption more uniform compared to cane / beet sugar and starch.

For successful lactose cleavage, the small intestine epithelium must synthesize a specific enzyme, lactase. The rate of production in newborns is high, but it decreases with each subsequent year. If the production of lactase initially did not start or completely stopped too early (adverse cases of heredity are responsible for such cases), lactose intolerance occurs. Its rich foods cause gas, diarrhea, nausea, and burping. Vomiting is slightly less common.

The health benefits of milk are the simultaneous content of calcium and vitamin D in it - one of many biochemical pairs (they are formed by elements that are only subject to joint absorption).

Its regular consumption with good tolerance gives:

  • bone and tooth health
  • high muscle contractility
  • stable weight.

There is an opinion on the relationship between chronic vitamin D deficiency and development:

  • autoimmune skin pathologies (psoriasis and vitiligo),
  • its cancer (melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma),
  • immunodeficiencies of minimal and moderate severity.

Such assumptions are based on statistics. According to them, people at risk for its deficiency or who suffered from childhood rickets (a temporary inability of the body to absorb vitamin D, and therefore calcium), are sick more often than healthy people. More stringent evidence they have not found.

Which one to choose?

There are no components directly affecting the state or behavior of the body’s protective systems in milk - with the exception of vitamin D, whose important role in their work is only expected. In theory, it can be associated with the rate of growth and renewal of tissues, especially the skin, where its own synthesis of vitamin occurs under the influence of ultraviolet radiation.

In practice, the possible relationship between vitamin D and the activity of immune defense is worth noting, and the rest is to wait for the final conclusions of science.

  1. It is better to choose those options that are enriched with vitamins, especially fat-soluble - A, D, E.
  2. Goat milk for immunity, like horse milk, is not much more useful than cow milk. The percentage of lactose in them is reduced, but it is not enough that with intolerance its digestion goes completely smoothly. But it makes sense to take them with an allergy to casein. This specific protein is abundant only in cow's milk.
  3. Plant-based analogues like soy / coconut are good for their lack of cholesterol. But they are also free from the components of their animal “analogue,” which are essential for maintaining the health, including complete proteins.

You should not buy cheap or non-pasteurized products without a sanitary report. Their “budgetary” cost is achieved by diluting with water and low-quality dry protein rich in oxycholesterol - its “worst” option. And animal products bought from the hands of unknown origin are infected with pathogens of brucellosis, toxocariasis, listeriosis, salmonellosis.

Immune enhancing milk: recipes

It is unclear to science whether milk alone is enough to strengthen the immune defenses of adults.

And to it often add products that can increase the body's resistance to pathogens - honey, herbs, berries with anti-inflammatory and antipyretic components.

To prepare a drink according to this recipe, a half-liter jar of dried grains needs to be washed, pour 2 liters of milk in an enameled bowl, add oats and leave to simmer for 3 hours in a water bath without boiling. After - cool and strain. Oats with milk for immunity take 0.5 cups, in between meals, 4-5 times a day.

Usually, raspberry jam is added to it (a tablespoon per glass). The therapeutic value of this berry is given by food acids with their antiseptic and antipyretic properties. In raspberries there is even acetylsalicylic acid, which forms the basis of Aspirin.

To improve the sweat and diuretic effect of the product, you can separately brew 250 ml of boiling water a tablespoon of dry twigs and raspberry leaves, and leave in a thermos for 1 hour. Then dilute with a tablespoon of strained infusion a glass of milk, add jam to taste and drink at night.

With propolis

Official medicine refers to bee products and adaptogens of animal origin worse than folk. But the general strengthening properties of black wax, she admits.

Propolis with milk for immunity is made by adding 2 tablespoons of its chips to half a liter of base. The resulting mixture was brought to a boil and cooked on a minimum heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring constantly. Then they are filtered using gauze, folded in several layers, and allowed to stand.

During cooling, the entire “cooked” propolis rises and hardens on the surface. After its removal, the product is ready for use - 15 drops, half an hour before a meal, three times a day.

With garlic

This recipe is the easiest. He requires to mix a glass of milk with garlic (5 cloves grated in pulp with juice), boil and cook for 1 min. Sometimes during the cooking process add a teaspoon of honey. Drink the product you need in 2 divided doses, warm, before eating.

Sage herb has a strong bitter-spicy aroma, gives a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect and soothes nerves, refers to medicinal plants.

A teaspoon of its raw materials should be added to 250 ml of milk, brought to a boil and immediately set aside, covered with a lid, for 7-10 minutes.When ready, the drink should be mixed and strain the grass through the tea strainer. Take the product warm, for 2 equal doses, before eating. You can add honey to your taste.

Contraindications and harm

Milk is contraindicated for use with:

  • lactose intolerance,
  • casein allergies (severe contraindication),
  • gastritis
  • duodenit
  • enteritis
  • erosion of the stomach / intestines.

Even with zero production of lactase, it is allowed to periodically “skip a glass” of your favorite drink, after taking the drug with the missing enzyme. Lactase products are intended for infants. But they can also be used by adults with intolerance to milk sugar.

The role of breast milk in the development of the baby's immunity

In the first months / years of life, it is a non-alternative source of nutrients for all mammals. Breast milk for the immunity of the child serves as a means of transmission to him from the mother:

  • innate defense agents - universal antibodies like macrophages and immunoglobulins. His own body does not produce them yet,
  • digestive enzymes - amylase, lipase, trypsin and protease. They form independent digestion, without which the growth and launch of the body’s own immune mechanisms are impossible,

It also has a high concentration of hormones and hormone-like compounds - especially the thyroid gland, pituitary gland and adrenal glands, designed to stimulate erythropoiesis and tissue growth of the baby’s body after birth.

Eloquent than any recommendations about the positive effect of milk on the health and work of the intestines, say the reviews of fans.

Maxim, 22 years old:

“I drink a glass of warm milk for the night since childhood - my parents taught me. If it happens to catch a cold, just warm the milk a little harder and add a spoonful of honey to it. “I hardly cough at night after that, and my throat goes away in a couple of days.”

Diana, 35 years old:

“I grew up as an“ artificial woman ”, which is why I fell ill with everyone in turn - from rickets to worms. As an adult, she began to drink calcium-enriched milk in a couple of glasses a day. She gave birth to a son already healthy - there was no rickets and intestinal infections for all childhood. ”

Mila, 29 years old:

“After 2 weeks on a citrus diet, I developed gastritis, even an ulcer threatened. The gastroenterologist prescribed a bunch of different things, but my mother advised me and started giving me just 2 cups of oat milk a day. On it I "left" the consequences of my diet. "

The table shows the concentrations of immunoglobulins and other protective proteins of breast milk and describes their main functions:

The concentration of immunoglobulins (mg / ml) in

colostrum, milk and plasma

Lipase (dependent on bile acids)

Hydrolyzes milk triglycerides, fatty acids in the intestines of the baby have antiparasitic, antiviral and bactericidal effects

Formation of an organism-safe bactericidal agent: OSCN -

Induction of selective apoptosis of cancer cells in oligomeric form

Let us dwell in detail on the most studied protective components of breast milk and consider their main functions:

Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA).
The main class of human milk immunoglobulins is secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA). This immunoglobulin protects the baby’s mucous membranes - the main gateway to infection for children of this age. In colostrum, sIgA content reaches 5 g / L, in mature milk - up to 1 g / L. Secretory immunoglobulin A is resistant to high levels of acidity in the baby’s gastrointestinal system and to digestive enzymes and remains active in the baby’s digestive tract, covering its walls with a protective layer. Despite the fact that the concentration of immunoglobulins A in mature milk is lower, the child receives enough of these antibodies due to the fact that he absorbs a larger volume of milk. It was estimated that during the entire period of breastfeeding, the baby receives approximately 0.5 g of secretory immunoglobulin A daily. This is fifty times the daily dose of IgA given to patients with hypoglobulinemia.

Lipase is a water-soluble enzyme that compensates for the low amount of the newborn’s own enzymes by breaking down fats in his gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, it releases fatty acids, which possess antiviral and antibacterial properties, in particular against pathogenic protozoa.

Lysozyme is an enzyme that destroys the wall of a bacterial cell, resulting in its dissolution and destruction. It plays the role of a non-specific antibacterial barrier, especially in places of contact with the external environment (tears, saliva, nasal mucosa).

Lactoperoxidase is a very important antibacterial element of antimicrobial protection. It is a very mild antimicrobial agent that simultaneously stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria and fights the growth of pathogens.

-lactalbumin is the most important breast milk protein that supplies tryptophan, methionine and cysteine ​​to the baby, improves binding and accelerates the absorption of calcium and zinc, promotes the formation of peptides with antibacterial and immunoregulatory properties, and stimulates the growth of bifidoflora in the intestines of the baby. When lactalbumin is cleaved in the gastrointestinal tract, bioactive peptides are formed, the so-called HAMLET complex (Human Alfa-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumor cells), which, according to the latest researchers, results in the destruction of cancer cells, moreover, on a mild path, without any destruction of neighboring body structures. Therefore, breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer, including.

Lactoferrin is the most multifunctional breast milk protein. Lactoferrin is one of the most important components of the body’s immune system; it takes part in the system of non-specific humoral immunity. The protective properties of lactoferrin are unique, nature has collected a maximum of useful properties in it - it has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, various catalytic activities, as well as anti-cancer, anti-allergic, immunomodulating effects and radioprotective properties. Every day, with each serving of breast milk, the baby receives this unique and indispensable protection. Lactoferrin binds iron ions, thereby creating an iron-deficient environment and depriving the bacterial microflora of the trace element necessary for its growth and vital activity. At the same time, other anti-infectious activity of lactoferrin may be based on other mechanisms independent of the ability of the protein to bind iron ions, for example, the stimulating effect of lactoferrin on the destruction of pathogens and the effect on the activity of the body's immune response. However, the most studied mechanism of the antibacterial action of the protein, independent of its iron-binding ability, is the specific interaction of lactoferrin with the external bacterial membrane, which leads to the death of bacterial cells.

It is proved that lactoferrin has antiviral activity against a wide range of human and animal viruses with DNA and RNA genomes. Lactoferrin binds various antigens of a viral nature mainly in vitro. At the moment, the action of the protein against herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, HIV, hepatitis C virus, hantaviruses, rotaviruses, polioviruses of the first type, adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, mouse Friend leukemia virus is shown. That is why the termination of breastfeeding with rotavirus infections so often practiced in domestic hospitals is a very gross mistake in therapy. Lactoferrin also has antifungal activity.

Lactoferrin has activity against Candida albicans - symbionts that form colonies in the oral mucosa of healthy people. Oral administration of lactoferrin through drinking water to mice with weakened immunity and symptoms of stomatitis led to a significant decrease in the number of Candida albicans in the oral cavity and the size of the damage to the tongue. It was shown that oral administration of lactoferrin reduces the number of pathogenic organisms in tissues close to the gastrointestinal tract in several models of infected animals. Moreover, HIV-infected patients with Candida albicans resistant to antifungal drugs completely got rid of the fungal infection after the introduction of a mixture containing lactoferrin. Experiments were conducted on the treatment of cancer patients with lactoferrin, by intravenous administration, in which very good and encouraging results were obtained.

Lactoferrin passes the blood-brain barrier (transfer of substances from the blood to the brain) and has an effect on the development of the brain, which also has an analgesic effect, which also helps a baby who is breastfeeding to better tolerate the disease. According to the latest researchers, the level of lactoferrin in breast milk is individual in each mother. The higher its concentration in milk, the less and less often the child gets sick, the more intensively is the formation of the child’s own immune system. The older the child, the higher the level of lactoferrin and other protective proteins in milk. So, in the fourth year of breastfeeding, the level of lactoferrin is 2 times higher than in the second, which is close to its concentration in colostrum, which only has a beneficial effect on the health of the child. At this stage of industrial development, the addition of lactoferrin to artificial mixtures for feeding children is extremely difficult and expensive, therefore, it is not carried out in bulk quantities. Therefore, it is very important to understand that before creating a full replacement of breast milk it is still very, very far and continue to popularize breastfeeding of children in the first years of life. In no case should breastfeeding be considered a panacea for all childhood diseases, and milk is the only medicine. It is often mistaken that while a child is on HB, he is protected from all the diseases that his mother has ever been ill with - this is completely wrong. But breast milk is the best support and stimulation of the child’s own immunity of the first years of life, conceived by nature, which is especially important in our difficult living conditions with deteriorating ecology and quality of food. In our review, we examined only the main protective factors of breast milk, but dozens of its components, such as epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor, human growth factors I, II and III, insulin-like growth factor, erythropoietin, thyroxine and thyrotropin, remain unexplored or poorly studied. -releasing hormone, cholecystokinin, beta-endorphins, prostaglandins, prolactin, leptin