Breast milk, the ‘battle-tested’ breeding ground for new drugs
As scientists demystify just what makes breast milk so healthful, they’re stumbling upon clues, left by nature, that could light the way to treatments for disease.
As STAT’s Meghana Keshavan reports, researchers across the country are digging into the complexity of breast milk and seeing potential to fight superbugs, treat gastrointestinal disease, improve vaccines, and even kill cancer.
Thousands of years of evolution have “battle-tested” the proteins, sugars, and antibodies in breast milk, said Lars Bode, director of the Mother-Milk-Infant Center at the University of California, San Diego. Now “it’s a matter of taking what Mother Nature’s developed already, and using it as a template to create new drugs.”