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The History of Pioneering Breast Milk Research

    “The key to unravelling the health benefits of human milk is an understanding of the causes and consequences of the variation in its composition.” Dr Bernd Stahl, R&D Director of Human Milk Research at Nutricia Research

EARLY life nutrition starts with understanding and researching the wonders of human breast milk. Its precise composition varies depending on the mother’s diet, health, lifestyle and geographic location, but its unique properties remain essential in supporting the nourishment of full-term and premature newborns¹`².

40 years of early life science

Nutricia Early Life Nutrition has over 40 years of breast milk expertise with a dedicated team of around 250 specialist scientists collaborating with hospitals, laboratories and universities worldwide to ensure we’re leaders in this field.

Breast is always best, with research showing that breastfeeding is also associated with a lower incidence of obesity during childhood and adolescence, and of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia in adulthood³.

Dr Stahl explains: “Exclusive breastfeeding for at least three months is associated with a lower incidence and severity of diarrhoea, respiratory infection and otitis media. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months is associated with a lower incidence of allergic disease in at-risk infants.”

Continuing early life nutritional research

Our commitment to finding out more is unrivalled. We want to explore the composition of breast milk in an exhaustive manner.

Our scientists are still trying to learn from the wonders of breast milk everyday, because it holds the foundations for human development.

Dr Stahl added: “Further exploration into the many benefits of human milk and breastfeeding behaviour on infant and maternal health must continue in order to help support breastfeeding but also to help in understanding the nutritional needs of mothers and their infants in their early phase of life.”

Our Careline

If you would like to speak to someone who understands what it’s like to be on the frontline of healthcare, you can call our expert healthcare professional helpline. Our free healthcare professional helpline is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. Just phone 0800 996 1234 for expert advice on infant feeding and nutrition, including common infant feeding problems such as cows’ milk allergy, colic, constipation and reflux.

“We are still turning the cutting-edge science of today into applications that will be the clinical practice of tomorrow.”

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breastfeeding is best for babies. Infant formula is suitable from birth when babies are not breastfed. Follow-on milk is only for babies over 6 months, as part of a mixed diet and should not be used as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. We advise that all formula milks including the decision to start weaning should be made on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist or other professional responsible for maternal and child care. Foods for special medical purposes should only be used under medical supervision. May be suitable for use as the sole source of nutrition for infants from birth, and/or as part of a balanced diet from 6–12 months. Refer to label for details.

  1. NHS Choices. Benefits of breastfeeding [Online]. 2017. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/benefits-breastfeeding.aspx [Accessed December 2017].
  2. Kramer MS, Kakuma R.The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: a systematic review. Adv Exp Med Biol 2004;554:63–77.
  3. Ip S et al. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Rep Technol Assess 2007;153:1–186.