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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


AGUILAR CORDERO, María José et al. Immunological benefits of human milk for the mother and child: systematic review. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2016, vol.33, n.2, pp.482-493. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: Milk is a changing fluid composed of lipids, proteins, minerals and immune molecules. The exclusive breastfeeding (BF) rates are below the targets set by the World Health Organization (WHO) who states that mothers should breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and supplement it with other foods during the first two years. If these recommendations are carried out, they would benefit mothers and their babies. Breast milk changes its composition depending on the baby's age, the time of day, the mother's diet or the degree of fullness of the breast. Recent studies suggest that there is a dynamic relationship between the health of children and the composition of breast milk because it increases the production of antibodies against an active infection of the infant. Objective: Perform a systematic review of the scientific literature, grouping current knowledge gathering related to the immunological properties of breast-feeding and its effects on the health of the mother and child. Methods: We conducted a systematic search and 21 specific articles on the subject are selected, following the PRISMA guidelines. Results: The studies analyzed concluded that breast milk has a lot of immune components which increase according to the baby's needs. It also has physical and psychological benefits for mother and child and it also assumed a cost savings by reducing hospital admissions of infants, because it reduces morbidity. Conclusions: Breast-fed babies have less gastrointestinal, respiratory, allergic diseases or asthma and human milk prevents childhood obesity. In addition, the BF has beneficial effects for the mother; it decreases the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Mothers should increase rates of exclusive breastfeeding until at least 6 months.

Palabras clave : Exclusive breastfeeding; Mammary gland; Gastrointestinal morbidity; Respiratory infections; Asthma; Breast cancer.

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