Human milk is the ideal nutrition for term infants because it provides all necessary nutrients for rapid growth and postnatal development. The quantity and quality of nutrients is adapted to the high nutritional requirement of rapid growth as well as to the functional maturation of the gastrointestinal tract and the metabolism of the infant. In addition, human milk contains components which are-partially or completely- resistant to intestinal digestion and provide functional capacity.1,2 There is broad consensus that breastfed infants develop differently compared to infants with artificial feeding.3 Breastfed infants, in comparison to formula-fed infants, have a reduced incidence of allergic or atopic diseases,4-8 a reduced incidence of infections, 9-13 and a reduced incidence of diabetes mellitus type I.14 This indicates a major impact of breastfeeding on the development of the immune system.15-17 Better cognitive functions18 and lower blood pressure19 in later life have also been reported for breastfed infants.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL
Boehm, G, Wind, R. (Richèle), & Knol, J. (2009). Prebiotics and probiotics in infant formulae. In Handbook of Prebiotics and Probiotics Ingredients: Health Benefits and Food Applications (pp. 294–339). Retrieved from