A photo showing droplets of breast breast milk fending off armies of harmful bacteria in Petri dishes is going viral on Facebook.
The photo, posted by a biology student in England, features nine Petri dishes completely colonized with the bacteria M. Luteus, except in the center, where tiny puddles of breast milk have created what looks like “moats” of protection around themselves.
The student, Vicky Green, said she had similar results with Petri dishes full of e.Coli and the dreaded anti-biotic resistant “super bug” MRSA.
“The white spots in the middle are discs soaked in two samples of breastmilk,” Green wrote in the caption of her post. “See the clear bit around the discs ― that’s where the proteins in the milk have inhibited the bacteria!”
An article from YourPediatrician.com explains how this is possible:
“About 80 percent of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Breast-fed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles. Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to whatever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight the diseases their babies are exposed to as well.”
What’s even more impressive is that the samples of milk in the photos came from the mother of a 15-month-old and a 3-year-old, providing further evidence that breast milk continues to protect against illness long beyond infancy.
And, since the human immune system isn’t completely developed until age 6, the longer a child can breast feed the better!