Behind human milk and breastfeeding: not only food

Luca Pecoraro, Carlo Agostoni, Orsiol Pepaj, Angelo Pietrobelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After birth, breastfeeding should not be considered only a normal and physiological event; in fact, it encloses both physical and the psychological aspects. Human milk cannot be compared to any formula milk. Specifically, human milk has immunological and nutritional properties and it is considered the best available option which guarantees an adequate growth and an optimal development of a child. Differences in term of mediators and hormones have been shown between infants who were breastfed and ones who were not. A key point is represented by unmeasurable environmental and psycho-affective factors. So, it may be simplistic to consider human milk only as a nutrient; since it encompasses much more. The aim of our commentary is to review clinical studies about breastfeeding, analysing its consequences on the neuro-developmental achievement, growth and risk of obesity within a holistic view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • breastfeeding
  • childhood obesity
  • childhood overweight
  • growth
  • Human milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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