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Clin Perinatol. 2014 Jun;41(2):423-35. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2014.02.011.

Human breast milk and the gastrointestinal innate immune system.

Author information

1
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, 2015 Uppergate Drive, 3rd Floor, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
2
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, 2015 Uppergate Drive, 3rd Floor, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Electronic address: pllin@emory.edu.

Abstract

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a large potential portal for multiple infectious agents to enter the human body. The GI system performs multiple functions as part of the neonate's innate immune system, providing critical defense during a vulnerable period. Multiple mechanisms and actions are enhanced by the presence of human breast milk. Bioactive factors found in human milk work together to create and maintain an optimal and healthy environment, allowing the intestines to deliver ideal nutrition to the host and afford protection by a variety of mechanisms.

KEYWORDS:

Antimicrobial peptides; Bioactive factors; Commensal bacteria; Human breast milk; Intestinal microbiome; Lactoferrin; Mucosal innate immune system

PMID:
24873841
PMCID:
PMC4414019
DOI:
10.1016/j.clp.2014.02.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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