Researchers uncover hidden miracles in breast milk with links to cancer

At UC Davis, collaborative research — linking scientists across the campus from multiple fields of expertise — has led to significant advancements in many areas, including our understanding of the benefits of breast milk.

While the immune protection it provides has long been known, work in this area stalled until scientists developed the technology to look more closely at oligosaccharides, a sugary component with a substantial presence in milk.

$6.9 million funds studies of health-boosting compounds in cow’s milk

Research on milk glycans is funded for a total of $6.9 million from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the National Cancer Institute.

After spending more than a decade decoding breast milk’s important health-promoting constituents, a team of researchers in the Foods for Health Institute at the University of California, Davis, is now doing the same for cow’s milk, with potential benefits both for human health and the U.S. dairy industry.