A new study published April 2012 from the Journal of Human Lactation shows cancer fighting substances in breast milk.
I realize this is a stretch for the subject matter, but being a strong supporter of breast feeding (for many reasons, but one is that is reduces the mom’s risk of breast cancer) I found this newly published study from the Journal of Human Lactation very interesting. This study was also reported in a similar study done in 1995. (In this 1995 study, they were studying the effect of human milk on bacteria in human lung cancer, and to their surprise, the human milk killed the cancer cells instead)
Simply, the enzyme , TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand) was measured in breast milk at day 1 and day 5 after delivery. This enzyme controls apoptosis, the method by which the body kills unneeded cells. When your body can’t control the proliferation of cell production, that’ the definition of cancer (tumor growth).
TRAIL was found in levels 400 and 100 times higher than in normal human serum, giving breast-fed babies the advantage of this cancer fighting enzyme. Formula does not contain TRAIL.
When I read something like this it always makes me think of the rate of cancer today and how much it has increased in the past 40 years. I am not suggesting that this has to do with the breast feeding rates, however, my belief is that cancer is like the pot in the game “Don’t Spill the Beans” where players place beans on a pot and when the pot gets too full, the beans spill out.
It’s not just “one thing” that causes cancer, but things that “pile onto the pot” until that “one thing” causes the pot to spill, and the cancer cells to grow.
I found it interesting that from 1955 (when data started to be collected on such matters) to 1976, the breast feeding rates were the lowest. Only around 20% of all mothers breast-fed (mainly because of government and manufacturer’s propaganda…my opinion for what it’s worth) Those people would be 36 – 57 years old today.
Does it have an impact on adult cancer rates? Don’t know. I could find no data on incidence of breast fed vs bottle fed adult cancer rates.
The purpose of this post is to present information. I don’t wish to get into the “breast-fed/bottle-fed debate”. I understand this is a personal choice and there are factors which dictate that choice.
I am more thinking along the lines of isolating this enzyme and using it as a weapon. Adding it to the Starbuck’s menu…..it even sounds good….“I’ll have a venti TRAIL latte please….with two shots of espresso.”