Earth & Conservation

How Important Is Breast Milk?

Breast milk's micro-biome contains over 700 types of bacteria to help a baby establish an immune system that will help fight sicknesses.

Related on TestTube:
What Are Breasts Really For?
Why We Should Thank Porn for the Internet!

Related on TestTube:
What Are Breasts Really For?
Why We Should Thank Porn for the Internet!

Each week on TestTubePlus, we pick one topic and cover it from multiple angles. This week's topic is breasts. Over these five episodes, hosts Trace Dominguez and Amy Shira Teitel will be diving deep into the science, history, and more of boobs: how they work, why men are so obsessed with them, breast size, the importance of understanding breast cancer, and much more. In the first episode, Trace and Amy covered boob basics, discussing what are breasts for and why humans only have two nipples. Today, they talk about the importance of breast milk.

All fetuses start out in the womb as female. Fetuses that have a Y chromosome become male, which is why men nipples, but since they don't have estrogen, they don't fully develop. Male and female bodies develop secondary sex characteristics during puberty.
Here's when the female breasts mature ductal tree, which is the path for milk. Lactation occurs when the pituitary gland produces a hormone called prolactin. Normally, women have twice as much prolactin as men. During pregnancy, their prolactin levels increase
to ten-times more than normal.

Breast milk helps build a newborn's immune system. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found over over 700 types of bacteria in breast milk. This bacteria helps establish the baby's immune system and microbiome, giving the baby the power to fight off illness and also establishing the baby's metabolism. Scientists think the bacteria in breast milk may even prevent diseases like asthma. Another study just published by Brown University found that by the time a baby is two years old, those who had been fed breast milk exclusively for at least three months showed greater development in the area of their brains that control language, emotional function, and cognition. Compared to formula-fed babies, breastmilk-fed babies performed better on tests of motor development and visual acuity, too.

TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week, host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on big topics like the ocean, porn, exercise, stereotypes, fear, survival, dreams, space travel, and many more.

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TestTube Plus is now available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

Learn More:
Men Vs. Women: Our Key Physical Differences Explained (LiveScience)
"Sexual dimorphism" is the scientific term for physical differences between males and females of a species. Many extreme examples exist: Peacocks far outclass peahens, for instance, while female anglerfish both outsize and outwit their tiny, rudimentary, parasitic male counterparts."

Breasts are barrier to exercise (University of Portsmouth)
"Nearly one in five women say their breasts stop them from participating in physical activity, new research reveals. The research also found that physical activity levels weren't influenced by breast size, which suggests the breast could be a barrier to exercise for women across all bra sizes."