Human milk is amazingly powerful and full of complex components. Reently, there have been quite a few studies published about how the antibodies within breast milk can help protect against Coronavirus. Now a new non-peer-reviewed study from a Chinese lab suggests human milk could be protective against the virus even WITHOUT antibodies.
This supports guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that even if infected with COVID-19, or suspected of being infected, mothers should continue to breastfeed their babies.
In the new study, scientists from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology mixed human breast milk with healthy cells from the lung and gut. Then the milk was washed off and the cells were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2.
The scientists found whey proteins from breast milk can inhibit the virus by “blocking viral attachment, entry and even post-entry viral replication”. This means the virus did not bind to, or enter most of the cells, or if it did enter, it did not replicate itself.
Interestingly, according to the study, milk from cows and goats suppressed viral strains by about 70% compared to nearly 100% suppression in human milk.
News articles covering the story:
Scientific Reference - non-peer-reviewed study in biorxiv.org