Comparison of Human Milk and Formula
-Rich in brain-building omega 3s (DHA and AA)
-Automatically adjusts to infant's needs; levels decline as baby gets older
-Rich in cholesterol
-Nearly completely absorbed
-Contains fat-digesting enzyme, lipase
-Doesn't adjust to infant's needs
-Not completely absorbed
Leftover, unabsorbed fat accounts for unpleasant smelling stools in formula-fed babies.
-Soft, easily-digestible whey
-More completely absorbed; higher in the milk of mothers who deliver preterm
-Lactoferrin for intestinal health
-Lysozyme, an antimicrobial
-Rich in brain-and-body- building protein components
-Rich in growth factors
-Contains sleep-inducing proteins
-Harder-to-digest casein curds
-Not completely absorbed, more waste, harder on kidneys
-No lactoferrin, or only a trace
-Deficient or low in some brain-and body-building proteins
-Deficient in growth factors
-Does not contain as many sleep-inducing proteins.
Infants aren't allergic to human milk protein.
-Rich in lactose
-Rich in oligosaccharides, which promote intestinal health
-No lactose in some formulas
-Deficient in oligosaccharides
Lactose is considered an important carbohydrate for brain development. Studies show the level of lactose in the milk of a species correlates with the size of the brain of that species.
-Rich in living white blood cells, millions per feeding
-Rich in immunoglobulins
-No live white blood cells-or any other cells. Dead food has less immunological benefit.
-Few immunoglobulins and most are the wrong kind
When mother is exposed to a germ, she makes antibodies to that germ and gives these antibodies to her infant via her milk.
Vitamins and Minerals
-Better absorbed, especially iron, zinc, and calcium
-Iron is 50 to 75 percent absorbed.
-Contains more selenium (an antioxidant)
-Not absorbed as well
-Iron is 5 to 10 percent absorbed
-Contains less selenium (an antioxidant)
Vitamins and minerals in breast milk enjoy a higher bioavailability-that is, a greater percentage is absorbed. To compensate, more is added to formula, which makes it harder to digest.
Enzymes and Hormones
-Rich in digestive enzymes, such as lipase and amylase
-Rich in many hormones: thyroid, prolactin, oxytocin, and more than fifteen others
-Varies with mother's diet
-Processing kills digestive enzymes
-Processing kills hormones, which are not human to begin with
-Always tastes the same
Digestive enzymes promote intestinal health. Hormones contribute to the overall biochemical balance and well- being of baby.
By taking on the flavor of mother's diet, breastmilk shapes the tastes of the child to family foods.