Cow’s Milk vs. Breast Milk: What to Feed Your Infant
The quality of dairy products today has gone down due to companies chemically inputting synthetic Vitamin D and using pasteurization and homogenization processes. Even though yogurt may be considered safer since it’s easier for the body to break down, it has been found that yogurt contains unhealthy saturated fats and cholesterol. This had led to the development of cysts, tumors, and excess mucus production. In Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer, researchers found dairy products increases the risk for breast cancer. Although this hasn’t been proven, some researchers believe that gluten allergies are linked to large intakes of dairy products. Michio Kushi, founder of the Kushi Institute, believed that gluten allergies occur from infants that aren’t breast-fed.
Breast-fed babies aren’t prone to allergies because breastmilk contains colostrum, a nutrient that boosts the infant’s immune system. Whereas formula-fed babies are more prone to allergies and have a lower immune system. Usually, formula-fed babies start drinking cow milk from an earlier age compared to breast-fed babies, and because of this, their dairy intake is higher from infancy to adulthood which can possibly lead to allergies. Kushi has even said, “Milk has served as a vital link between generations.” From the day we were born, we have been ingesting milk whether it’s breastmilk or formula. It’s very important to give your baby the best milk available, this is why breast-feeding is the best option for your child.
As mentioned before, breastmilk contains colostrum, which is an important nutrient for infants; but formula fed babies lack this important nutrient because colostrum isn’t found in baby formula. Without colostrum, your baby can have a weaker immune system and is susceptible to diarrhea and digestive problems. Meanwhile breastmilk protects infants from infections by giving your child a solid immune system. In the Textbook of Medical Physiology, Dr. Arthur Guyton states that breastmilk contains antibodies and anti-infectious agents that destroys lethal bacteria like Escherichia coli, a common bacterium that causes diarrhea in babies. Also, these same antibodies is protecting the child from diphtheria, measles, and polio since the child will be breastfeeding for up to 6 months. Dr. Guyton even says that immunization against these diseases before six months is usually unnecessary. Unfortunately, cow milk, a main ingredient in formula, lacks the benefits that breastmilk carries and has an opposite effect on infants.
Cow milk isn’t beneficial for babies because of the proteins and nutrients/minerals found in cow milk. Usually, you would think that because it contains calcium that it will be healthy for your newborn, but that is not the case. Since these proteins are too large for your newborn, (see Table 1) they don’t become digested. Once ingested, these proteins are seen as foreign molecules which causes the infant’s internal environment to destroying the cow milk in a matter of minutes. In the end, cow milk doesn’t have any nutritional value for your newborn because the baby’s system is left with the smallest amount of nutrients remaining in cow milk. In addition, since cow milk has larger molecules than human milk and is a main ingredient in formula, it is usually normal for formula-fed babies to suffer from constipation. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any research that proves my theory even though multiple pregnancy/medical sites have been stating this claim. We have been researching this information for a number of years but haven’t found any studies to support this theory. Even though everyone says this statement is true, without substantial evidence no one truly knows the causes of baby constipation and we won’t make claim that we do either. Yet, research has shown that breast-fed babies have a better growth rate within the first 4 to 8 months of their life compared to formula-fed babies.
In Breast-Feeding, Infections, and Infant Outcomes: An International Perspective, Leonarda Mata conducted research in Puriscal, Costa Rica where weight loss and growth issues was common. During his research, he concluded that once the hospitals in Puriscal started implementing and encouraging breastfeeding, he discovered that breast-feeding increased an infant’s optimal growth rate during the first 4 to 8 months of their lives. The Puriscal newborns were heavier and within the mean average weight for a newborn. In the end, it is up to the mother to decide whether she wants to either breast-feed or formula-feed her newborn. For mothers who have done both, we would love for you to share your experience so that we can have an archive available to mothers.
Table 1: Composition of Milk
Breast Milk (%)
|Cow Milk (%)|
Lactalbumin and other proteins
1 National Research Council, Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer, (Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press, 1982) 73
2 Michio Kushi and Stephen Blauer, The Macrobiotic Way: The Definitive Guide to Macrobiotic Living, (New York,
Avery Publishing, 2004) 39
3 Arthur C. Guyton and John E. Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, (Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, 2007)
4 Arthur C. Guyton and John E. Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, (Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, 2007)
5 Leonarda Mata, Breast-Feeding, Infections, and Infant Outcomes: An International Perspective, (St. Johns,
Newfoundland: Biomedical Publications, 1990) 15-16
6 Arthur C. Guyton and John E. Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, (Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, 2007)
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