Protein breast milk may reduce hospital infection in preemies:

The majority of diseases affecting newborn preemies are hospital-acquired infections such as meningitis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections.

A protein in breast milk helps protect premature babies from hospital-acquired infections, according to a new study.Not only did we find that lactoferrin, a protein found in breast milk, could reduce hospital infections among preemies, but we also measured the safety of feeding the protein to newborns.

Lactoferrin did not cause any harmful side effects, according to the study published recently in The Journal of Pediatrics.

The study included 60 premature infants who were given lactoferrin through a feeding tube twice a day for 28 days, and 60 premature infants who received a placebo. Babies in the lactoferrin group had 50 percent fewer hospital-acquired infections, the study found.

 

Lactoferrin can cost $25 to $500 per dose. The estimated costs for treatment of hospital-acquired infections in the United States is $9.8 billion a year, according to the news release.