A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that organic dairy and meat products in a mother's diet positively affect the nutritional quality of her breast milk-markedly increasing beneficial fatty acids.
Specifically, a diet in which 90% or more of dairy and meat products are organic is correlated with measurably higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a type of fat that is believed to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic and immune-enhancing effects, as well as a favorable influence on body fat composition. For newborns specifically, CLA is believed to especially aid immune system development.
"These findings provide scientific support for common sense, by showing that organic foods are healthier," says Dr. Lukas Rist, who is the lead author of the study and the head of research at the Paracelsus Hospital in Switzerland. The study involved 312 breastfeeding women with 1-month old infants from the Netherlands.
"The study shows that breastfeeding mothers can influence the supply and quality of fatty acids for their infants, by eating a diet with organic dairy," adds Rist.