Role of bioactive molecules and maternal immune cells in breast milk in type 2 diabetes mellitus risk reduction
Keywords:Adipokines, Breastfeeding, Cytokines, Diabetes, Infant formula, Obesity
Inadequate breastfeeding or its total neglect has been mentioned in several studies as a contributing factor to the globally rising incidence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, the anti-diabetic role of breast milk has not been given much attention. As such, this study was initiated to review and bring to update on the role of breastfeeding in the risk reduction of T2DM. Relevant information on the topic was retrieved from the reliable science databases, including PubMed, MedLine, Google Scholar, Researchgate, etc. The results showed that breast milk is not energy dense and contains several health-enhancing bioactive molecules, including adipokines, antimicrobial and growth factors, cytokines, nutrients, and immune cells. Adipokines interact with the central nervous system to modulate certain physiological processes involved in energy balance, thereby programming an infant to be at a reduced risk for overweight, obesity and T2DM later in life. The antimicrobial and growth factors, as well as immune cells and bioactive nutrients may stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria and/or inhibit the growth of pathogens. Thus, strengthen neonate defense mechanisms to effectively prevent infections as well as short and long-term disorders such as obesity and T2DM. In conclusion, nursing mothers are advised to breastfeed babies adequately before introducing them to complementary foods. To cater to the need of babies who may not have access to breastfeeding, healthcare providers should formulate infant formula using breast milk components as basic constituents.