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Projects

A new project will study evidence of transmission and antibodies in breast milk of COVID-19 positive mothers

A collaborative project between researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), New York University (NYU) and University of Idaho will examine whether mothers can transmit COVID-19 through breast milk, and whether the breast milk itself has immunological properties against the disease.

Studying Infant Nutrition and Glycemia, SING icon

Project 1: Studying Infant Nutrition and Glycemia (SING) – A Breastfeeding Study

This ongoing clinical study investigates how variation in breast milk hormone composition impacts infant intestinal development, microbiome, and pancreatic function.

Studying Infant Nutrition and Glycemia, SING icon

Project 2: Impact of Milk Bank Practices on Donor Milk Composition

This ongoing collaboration with Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMNBANA) is actively studying how pooling protocols and practices impact resultant donor milk composition, to optimize the nutrition of recipient premature infants.

FUN An Infant Formula Study

Project 3: Formula – Understanding Nutrition (FUN) – An Infant Formula Study

The carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose. Many formulas provide carbohydrate as a glucose/sucrose combination which has a much higher glycemic index placing strain on the developing pancreas. Sucrose metabolizes into 50% fructose, a load which is linked with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults and children. However, the impact of providing glucose/sucrose as the sole carbohydrate to infant is not known due to a gaping lack in research.

We are studying exclusively formula-fed infants who have habitually consumed either lactose-based, or glucose/sucrose-based standard infant formula. We will measure their glycemic response to a standardized glucose challenge and markers of liver health and function as a means of investigating potential programming effects. Additionally, we will conduct metabolomic analyses on fasting urine samples, and bank samples for future analysis of microbiome composition, inflammation and oxidative stress.

We will compare these results between formula-groups and to a control group of exclusively breastfed infants who are being analogously studied under a different funding mechanism.

It is critical that we understand the impact of altering carbohydrate source during a crucial window of development in this group known to be at elevated risk for obesity and insulin resistance.