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Sugars can pass through breast milk

Researchers from the University of Southern California have found that fructose, a sugar that is linked to obesity and diabetes, can be passed from mother to baby via breast milk. The study itself involved 25 mothers and infants and also found that even a small amount of fructose daily could be associated with increased body weight. The sugar itself is found in fruit and processed food and beverages, it is not found naturally in breast milk, instead it is derived from the mother’s diet.

Exposing these children to higher amounts of sugar during growth and development can lead to problems with cognitive development as well as lifelong risks of obesity, diabetes, heart, and fatty liver disease. Unfortunately, the researchers of this study did not collect dietary data from the mothers so were unable to correlate the types of foods that the mothers consume to the levels of fructose in their breast milk, they are now undertaking this stage of their research. They are also keen to highlight the fact that caregivers should be aware and prepared to give advice to mothers about what sugars they do consume during pregnancy.

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