Many mothers realize the importance of choosing to breastfeed over infant formula. Not only does breastfeeding create a special mother-baby bond that has even been recognized among the science community, but breast milk has been shown to outrank infant formula for numerous reasons. Further adding on to those reasons, a recent study found something something extra special within breast milk – a substance that possesses amazing anti-cancer properties.
Breast Milk Compound a Promising Future Solution for Cancer
The study, which was published in the journal PLoS One, adds on to what has been said since the late 1980s, that breast-fed children are more protected against cancer than forumla-fed children.
The researchers in the study found that a substance found in breast milk known as ‘Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumor cells’ (HAMLET) can effectively kill cancer cells, providing protection against cancer for years to come.
“HAMLET is produced by combining alpha-lactalbumin in the milk and oleic acid which is found in babies’ stomachs,” Assistant Professor Roger Karlsson, of the University of Gothenburg said. “So breast feeding has been linked to actually reducing the risk of cancer in babies. HAMLET also triggers some of the cell´s apoptotic pathways – apoptosis is programmed cell death.
What’s more, the compound could also be a cancer treatment for adults within a few years. According to ScienceDaily, HAMLET has been shown to kill 40 different cancer types in previous laboratory experiments. Also important to note, HAMLET kills only cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unaffected.
“A pilot study of bladder cancer patients were injected with a HAMLET solution through a catheter. The solution killed cancer cells and the size of the tumours actually reduced within five days. It could also work if doctors were able to inject the solution into the vein which carries blood directly to the site of the cancer. They were actually looking for antibiotic powers in breast milk when they came across HAMLET and found in one of their tests that it killed cancer cells,” he said.
Interestingly, the researchers came across these findings by accident while looking into the benefits of breast milk. The findings are quite lucky considering how it came to be, but professor Karlsson is worried about how the discovery can progress. According to Karlsson, the treatment is limited because it has to be administered in the direct location of the cancer cells.
If scientists can figure it out, HAMLET could be a great solution for cancer patients. Just like other natural cancer protectors like ginger, turmeric, and numerous herbs, it seems breast milk also has the power to wipe out cancer safely and effectively – unlike chemotherapy.