A sugar molecule in breast milk can boost the development of the brain.

Breast Milk Can Boost Brain Development

Imagine the human brain as a complex network of roads connecting different cities. These roads, known as synapses, allow communication between brain cells, much like how messages are sent between cities. Scientists have been investigating how specific nutrients, like special fuels for these roads, affect brain connectivity.

In this study, researchers examined human milk samples from all around the world to find out which nutrient is crucial for brain development. They discovered a unique sugar called myo-inositol, which acts like a powerful booster for the brain roads. It is found in highest amounts during early lactation, a time when the baby’s brain is rapidly forming these essential connections.

To understand how myo-inositol works, imagine it as a magical potion that helps build more and better roads between brain cells. The researchers found that it increased the number of these roads in human and rat brain cells. It was like giving the brain cells a special ability to respond more effectively to signals and make even more connections.

To prove that myo-inositol is truly beneficial for the developing brain, the scientists tested it on mice. Just like when we improve and expand a road system, the mice’s brains showed larger and more efficient brain roads as they grew up.

But the magic of myo-inositol didn’t stop there. Even in more mature brains, it continued to be helpful. Using a special test system, the researchers found that myo-inositol worked like a charm on grown-up brain tissue too. It increased the number and size of these important brain roads, making brain cells communicate better with each other.

A sugar molecule in breast milk can boost the development of the brain.
A sugar molecule in breast milk can boost the development of the brain.

In summary, this research helps us better understand how human milk affects the baby’s brain. Myo-inositol, this special sugar found in milk, is like a powerful fuel that supports the construction and improvement of vital brain roads. So, breast milk isn’t just nutrition; it’s also packed with essential ingredients that help build a strong and well-connected brain for infants.

Source: The human milk component myo-inositol promotes neuronal connectivity