Human breast milk contains many known antimicrobial and immunomodulatory molecules, including immunoglobulins, antimicrobial peptides, and fatty acids. In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers investigated a small molecule called glycerol monolaurate (GML) in human milk versus cows’ milk and infant formula for antimicrobial and antiinflammatory activities: human milk contained 3,000 µg/ml of GML, compared to 150 μg/ml in cows’ milk and none in infant formula; for bacteria tested (Staphylococcus aureusBacillus subtilisClostridium perfringensEscherichia coli), human milk was more antimicrobial than cows’ milk and infant formula.

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