Recent research, carried out at the University of Turku in Finland, found a link between the residential green environment and the individual oligosaccharide profile in the mother’s breast milk.
Oligosaccharides are sugar molecules that are the most common constituent in breast milk, after lactose and fat. The oligosaccharides in breast milk can protect the infant from harmful microbes and reduce the risk of allergies and diseases.
For the current study, researchers used data from almost 800 mothers who took part in the STEPS Study, which started in 2007. The researchers collected the breast milk samples when the infants were three months old. Then, the oligosaccharide composition was analyzed at the Bode Lab at the University of California, San Diego.
The analysis of breast milk samples and residential green environments showed that the diversity of oligosaccharides increases and the composition of several individual oligosaccharides changes when the residential area includes more green environments.