Animal fur bed helps reduce asthma risk in infants

A new study has observed that infants who sleep on animal fur in the first three months of life are less likely to suffer from asthma in later childhood.

Animal fur bed helps reducing asthma risk in infants

The study at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Munich suggested that microbial environment in animal skin and fur could have a protective effect against asthma and allergies.

The researchers collected information on exposure to animal skin during the first three months of life, along with information on the health of children until the age of 10 years and information on 2,441 children was used in the study, with 55percent of those included sleeping on animal skin in the first three months of life. The results showed that sleeping on animal skin was associated with a reduced risk of a number of factors connected to asthma. Dr Christina Tischer, from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen Research Centre, said that previous studies suggested that microbes found in rural settings could protect from asthma. Tischer added that an animal skin might also be a reservoir for various kinds of microbes, following similar mechanisms as has been observed in rural environments.

Source: Times of India

Mother’s milk vital for premature babies

Incorporating human milk fat supplement into premature infants’ diets improves their growth outcomes in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), says a new study.

Mother's milk vital for premature babies

“For premature babies who weigh less than a kg, one of the problems is that their lungs and other organs are still developing when they are born,” said Amy Hair, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the US.

“If the infant gains weight and increases in length at a good rate while in the NICU, this helps improve their (growth) outcomes,” Hair added. Previous research has shown that an exclusive human milk diet protects the intestines of premature infants and supports their growth.

This diet consists of mothers’ own breast milk or donor human milk, as well as a fortifier consisting of protein and minerals made from the donor milk. In this study, researchers sought a way to optimise growth in infants who weigh between 750 and 1,250 grams and need additional calories.

As infants are already receiving enough protein from the fortifier, another way to help them grow is by giving them fat. One of the byproducts of pasteurising donor milk is milk fat, also referred to as a cream supplement.

They found that infants in the cream group had better growth outcomes in terms of weight and length than infants in the control group. The study appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics

Source: zee news

Cause of infant deaths from SIDS identified

Researchers have claimed that babies dying from Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have brain stem abnormalities regardless of whether they were exposed to risks like suffocation or co-sleeping.

The researchers analysed the brain stems of 71 infants who had died suddenly and unexpectedly over 11 years.
The study found that all the babies who died had abnormalities of four neurochemicals in the brain stem, located at the skull’s base and connects the brain to the spinal cord.

According to Boston Children’s Hospital and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health’s Dr Jhodie Duncan, the research suggests that the abnormality leaves the toddlers unable to adequately respond when faced with a stressor while sleeping.
He said that if a pillow goes over a healthy infant’s face, their brain usually detects changes in oxygen levels and initiates response, so that the baby can turn its head and continue breathing. However, babies with the abnormality did not “respond properly” in the same situation, which lead to their death, reported.

The next possible step of the research team would be to see if a blood test can be developed to be used as an early screening tool to identify infants at risk of sudden and unexpected death in their first year.
The research has been published in the journal Pediatrics.

Source: Yahoo news