The amount of protein is a key factor in the development of the immune system of the infant.
Breast milk is the ideal food for the baby in the first months of life, which helps him grow and gain strength. A key component that ensures the harmonious development of the child's body and creates the basis for good health of the crumbs is protein. How exactly does protein affect the formation of the immune system of a newborn, and does the baby get enough protein if breast milk is replaced with infant formula?
Proteins are the basis of life
In an evolutionary sense, proteins were the most important components of all living things, including the human body. These organic substances perform many diverse functions (structural, protective, transport, motor, etc.), thanks to which all the most important vital processes are supported.
Structural proteins are the building blocks that form the cell structures of tissues and organs.Functional proteins are various enzymes and immune complexes that provide metabolism and other vital processes.
All proteins are composed of amino acids. Some amino acids are synthesized in the body, while others must be ingested with food - these are essential amino acids that make up various foods, including milk. We need protein at any age. But the infant's body especially needs to receive the optimal amount of protein for harmonious growth and development. Otherwise, the baby will grow slowly and often get sick due to a weakened immune system.
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Protective function of proteins
What is the relationship between proteins and the formation of a child's immunity? In fact, immune protection functions precisely because of proteins. It is the proteins that are contained in the blood that are directly involved in the protection against damage (fibrinogen and thrombin, which are responsible for blood clotting), as well as from foreign agents - viruses and bacteria.
Antibodies that are produced in the body to neutralize viruses and bacteria are also proteins.If a child’s body is attacked by foreign agents (in other words, in the case of a disease), to ensure a correct immune response to the baby, the crumb must receive such amount of protein from food that will be enough to “build” and form antibodies.
The optimal amount of protein for a child in the first months of life
Now let's talk about exactly what amount of protein the baby should receive. Here the standard is breast milk, which contains all the substances necessary for the harmonious growth and development of the baby, including the optimal amount of protein: 0.9 - 1.2 g per 100 ml. This amount of protein contributes to the proper formation of the immune system of the crumbs.
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If your baby is breastfed, it's important for you to know that cow's milk can not be a full-fledged replacement for the breast milk. Cow's milk is ideal for calves, and the children's body does not digest cow's milk, because it differs from breast milk in composition. The main difference is in the qualitative composition of the protein. So, if cow's milk proteins are almost 80% made up of casein (the rest is whey protein), then the content of casein proteins in breast milk does not exceed 20-30%.Why is it important? Because whey protein, which constitutes the majority of the protein fraction of breast milk (70-80%), is easier digested by the digestive system of the baby and does not cause allergies, while in many children an excess of casein leads to various allergic reactions.
Proceeding from this, it is important to understand that only adapted infant formula with the optimal amount and qualitative composition of protein, as close as possible to breast milk, can become a complete replacement for breast milk: 0.9 - 1.2 g / 100 ml (70-80% - whey protein, 20-30% casein).
Studies show that the use of adapted mixtures, the protein composition of which is as close as possible to breast milk, helps to lay the foundation for the baby’s health and contribute to the proper development of the baby’s immune system from the first days of life.