Breastfeeding (NCBSM) is an optimal choice for the comprehensive development of infants and young children. In breast milk, there is a full range of essential nutrients in a proportion suitable for the needs of infants and young children, from energy-giving substances (such as Proteins; Lipids; Glucid), to the micronutrients essential for development, as well as the presence of antibodies present in colostrum. In this article, let’s explore the important role of fat in breast milk for the development of both physical and intellectual well-being of children in the early stages of life.
Fats are involved in the composition of cells and fluids of organizations, especially brain organizations. Unsatuceal fatty acids (such as Linoleic acid; Arachidonic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid-DHA)… is a component of many compounds with high biological activity, which are necessary to make cell membranes, associated organizations, nerve organizations.
In the first years of life, children grow and develop rapidly both physically and mentally, especially nerve organizations, brains … Brain weight increases rapidly after birth: at birth the brain weighs only 350g, at 1 year old it weighs 3 times (about 1100g). The brain and nerve tissues are especially rich in fats, so a deficiency in fat in the daily diet affects the function of many bodies, especially the nerve bodies. It can be said that the fat in breast milk helps the physical and intellectual development of children at a very early stage because it plays an important role for the central nervous system of the child.
In addition, fats are also good solvents to dissolve vitamins A, D, E, K are vitamins that have many important functions in the body, the body wants to absorb and make good use of these vitamins need fat in the diet.
With the advancement of science, today people also delve into the role of each nutrient component in breast milk, in which, in-depth molecular studies of the fat composition in breast milk have brought very important findings, explaining the many advantages of breast milk for the development of young children , which fat contributes a significant part.
Structurally molecularly, most of the fat in breast milk is in the form of triglycerides, formed from the attachment of 3 fatty acids to a glycerol molest in 1st positions; 2; 3. The fatty acids in breast milk are mainly palmitic acid (Breckenridge, Marai et al. 2011), the bonding position of palmitic acid into the above glycerol molest will affect their properties and absorption in the developing digestive system of the child. Theoretically, in breast milk, palmitic acid can be attached in different positions at 3 positions on the glycerol moleced molest, but the most, up to 70%, is attached in position 2, called sn-2 palmitate, or beta-palmitate, or briefly OPO (Figure 3; sn stands for English phrase “stereospecific numbering” only Meanwhile in cow’s milk, or vegetable oil, palmitic acids often bind at no. 1; number 3, (called sn-1 or sn-3, or briefly POP (Figure 4). This information may seem confusing to many people, especially not specialized, but it is grounds to explain why fats are so different in function and ability to absorb and digest?
Fat when entering the digestive tract, will be digested and absorbed by enzymes available in the child’s digestive glands. In newborns, enzymes in the mouth, stomach, and pancreas are responsible for the breakdown of fat from breast milk (which is mainly sn-2 palmitate fat), to provide fatty acids that play an important role. in children’s growth and development. As for the fat sn-1, sn-3 palmitate, a child’s weak digestive system will not be able to break down the bonds in these molecules for absorption. Therefore, they go into the intestine, binding calcium to “calcium soap” (a form of calcium compounds) insoluble.
The formation of “calcium soap” not only affects the absorption of fatty acids but also affects calcium absorption and adversely affects the intestinal microflora. This is why babies who are fed cow’s milk have more solid feces and excretion than babies who are breastfed. The formation of “calcium soap” also entails a large amount of calcium out, making children susceptible to calcium deficiency.
Studies in infants fed a diet rich in sn-2 palmitate (OPO) found that bone strength was comparable to that of a breastfed group (Litmanovitz, Davidson et al. 2013).
Fat in breast milk helps increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, helping children digest the best
Breast milk-specific nutrients, including the fat sn-2 palmitate (OPO), have been shown to increase the number of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria (Yaron, Shachar et al. 2013 ). Therefore, the expert argues that sn-2 palmitate, important in the development of the intestinal microflora, fights infection, has other positive effects on immune response development.
Breastfed babies tend to be less fussy and fussy, which is due to their easy digestion, no discomfort, and softer stools, which is due to the effect of sn-2 palmitate (OPO) found in breast milk.
Scientists studied and proposed a sn-2 palmitate (OPO)-rich diet to a group of infants who were formula fed (Litmanovitz, Bar-Yoseph et al. 2014), results suggesting the group of infants This had a significantly less daily crying time than the other group of infants also formula fed but not enriched with sn-2 palmitate (OPO).