Human breast milk is demonstrating noteworthy anti-inflammatory characteristics in the lab of E. Stephen Buescher, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Val.
Inflammation is the body's response to infection, disease or foreign substances, like bacteria or a virus, according to the medical school's fall magazine. When a inflammatory response is triggered, white blood cells attack to defend the body.
Buescher learned milk prevents calcium, which ignites the inflammatory response, from entering white blood cells. That turns off the body's inflammatory response.
The symptoms of inflammation -- redness, swelling, pain, stiffness and fever -- are treated with medication, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Buescher's goal is to create something as safe as breast milk to prevent inflammation's symptoms. He's seeking to patent this new anti-inflammatory product.
His research could lead to more effective treatment of inflammatory autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes and arthritis.
Buescher calls mother's milk "a mix of medicines."
"Is this a model for how we should approach inflammation? If we understood more about the milk, we could use this as a template for taking other approaches to tackle inflammation safely," he said.