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Your Healthy Family: Research uncovers healing properties of breast milk

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HA activated natural antibiotics, preventing the salmonella bacteria from surviving in the cells of the intestine. HA activated natural antibiotics, preventing the salmonella bacteria from surviving in the cells of the intestine.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

New mothers often hear that ‘breast milk is best.’

Now, a research team from Cleveland Clinic has discovered that a compound found in breast milk may also be useful in fighting some common causes of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn?s Disease and ulcerative colitis.

“We thought most things in breast milk are there for a good purpose, so we started to investigate,” said Carol de la Motte, PhD, who led the research. “So, we actually took this component out of the breast milk, isolated it biochemically, and then began to treat human cells in culture and also mice.”

The research team collected breast milk samples from 40 women and isolated a component commonly known as hyaluronic acid, or ‘HA’.

The HA was then tested on human cells in the lab and fed to mice.

Researchers found that not only was HA effective in tightening “leaky” portions of the intestines, which cause inflammatory bowel disease, but it was also effective against fighting salmonella bacteria.

They found that HA activated natural antibiotics, preventing the salmonella bacteria from surviving in the cells of the intestine.

The research is still in its early stages, but de la Motte said the possibility of using a substance like HA to treat disease or infection is appealing because it?s natural.

“It?s such an attractive thing because it?s not an antibiotic,” said de la Motte. “What it does is turn on the body?s innate, inborn mechanisms to protect itself.”

Dr. de la Motte and her team are currently working on another study to see if HA is effective against other types of bacteria including C. diff. and E.coli.

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