Breast milk antioxidant prevents liver disease

Breast milk antioxidant prevents liver disease

According to new research from University of Colorado Anschutz, a breast milk antioxidant prevents liver disease.

Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants, hands down. It is the perfect blend of vitamins, proteins, and healthy fats, all designed to help your baby grow. Research has shown that breastfeeding can help develop the immune systems of infants as well.

The researchers set out to find out whether adding a dose of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) administered prenatally in obese mice could stop the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Led by Karen Jonscher, Ph.D. – associate professor of anesthesiology and a physicist at CU Anschutz, the researchers fed mice a high fat, high sugar Western diet to pregnant mice to make them obese. The other group of mice was fed a healthy diet. Also, subgroups within each of the two main groups were given PQQ in their drinking water.

The mice’s offspring were also fed the two diets for 20 weeks, as well as some of them receiving PQQ in their mothers breast milk, depending on the group they were part of.

As expected, the mice fed the Western diet gained more weight than the other group. Supplemental PQQ did not have impact on weight gain.

However, the PQQ did reduce liver and body fat in obese offspring. The PQQ even reduced liver fat in mice before they were even born.

The researchers also found decreased oxidative stress and less genes that cause inflammation in obese mice given PQQ. The antioxidant also reduced liver inflammation.

When given to obese mouse mothers during pregnancy and lactation, we found it protected their offspring from developing symptoms of liver fat and damage that leads to NAFLD in early adulthood,” says Karen Jonscher.

Perhaps supplementing the diet of obese pregnant mothers with PQQ, which has proven safe in several human studies, will be a therapeutic target worthy of more study in the battle to reduce the risk of NAFLD in babies,” Jonscher added.

The study showing that a breast milk antioxidant prevents liver disease was published in The FASEB Journal.

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1. “Antioxidant Found in Breast Milk Prevents Liver Disease, Study Finds.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
2. “Common Antioxidant May Guard against Liver Disease, Says CU Anschutz Researcher.” EurekAlert! University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
3. “Early PQQ Supplementation Has Persistent Long-term Protective Effects on Developmental Programming of Hepatic Lipotoxicity and Inflammation in Obese Mice.” The FASEB Journal. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.

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