Enteral nutrition and infections: The role of human milk

Elisa Civardi, Francesca Garofoli, Iolanda Mazzucchelli, Micol Angelini, Paolo Manzoni, Mauro Stronati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human milk (HM) is known as the best nutrition for newborns and support the optimal growth of infants, providing essential substances, nutrients, bioactive and immunologic constituents. HM also grants a favorable microbial colonization with attendant priming/maturation of the gut. The bioactive and immunologic elements of HM demonstrated to protect offspring against infection and inflammation and contribute to immune maturation. Some of these elements are being investigated in order to be used to ameliorate formula milk. A formula milk similar to breast milk may help neonatal gut to build a microbiota near to the one of the breast fed infants, improving the neonate's protection against pathogens.The aim of this review is to summarize the most significant bioactive constituents of HM that own natural anti-infectious properties and contribute to neonatal immune defense.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Bioactive constituents
  • Enteral nutrition
  • Human milk
  • Neonatal infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Medicine(all)


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