Summary of Asgarshirazi, M et al; Comparison of fecal calprotectin in exclusively breastfed and formula or mixed fed infants. Acta Med Iran 2017, 55:53. Click here for the full article.

Breastfeeding has been a long topic of debate for researchers and many studies are hypothesizing the benefits of mother milk. Many studies try to determine the long-term effects, while this can be controversial due to the multiple factors could impact these outcomes. The mode of feeding is likely to interfere with the intestinal behaviour during the first months of life, particularly when looking at the microflora.

This prospective cohort stuy compares fecal calprotectin levels between exclusively breastfed and formula or mixed-fed infants. 60 term newborns were enrolled in the study and their fecal calprotectin levels were measured at the age of one week and with six months using the ELISA method (Cat. # HK382). Results show that calprotectin was higher in the first month versus the six months in all infants. In exclusively breastfed infants, the mean stool calprotectin levels at the first (369 vs. 153 µg/g) and sixth month (283 vs. 114 µg/g)  were significantly higher than exclusively formula fed and mixed fed babies.

Based on the role of calprotectin in inflammation, its higher levels in exclusively breastfed infants is contrary to breast milk benefits and may be a sign of enhanced mucosal immune maturity in them.