One scientist's determined quest to make known the incredible healing properties of breastmilk. Read her story now.
Most of you reading this already know about the amazing qualities of breastmilk. Now, a Swedish professor and her team are looking at using the powerful properties of breastmilk as a cure for cancer.
Decades of research
Professor Catharina Svanborg of Lund University has spent the past two decades experimenting with human breast milk.
Back in the early nineties, Svanberg and her student Anders Håkansson were reportedly testing breast milk's ability to fight germs. In such experiments, human cancer cells are often used because they last indefinitely in lab dishes and behave similarly to regular human cells.
It was during this experiment that the researchers found a protein in breastmilk that can kill cancer cells.
They observed that the cancer cells, exposed to the breast milk, were disappearing. It looked like the breast milk was causing them to 'commit suicide'! Double testing showed the same results.
Svanberg says, "Looking down the microscope at the dying tumor cells, we were quite excited, especially when the experiment was repeated and showed the same effect twice. We had used non cancerous cells for a long time in similar experiments and they had not died."
The breast milk protein that caused the 'death' of these cancer cells was found to rapidly shrink bladder cancer and colon cancer tumours, as well as the most aggressive kind of brain tumour.
Svanborg named this unique cancer-killing breast milk protein Hamlet (Human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumour cells) and also patented their discovery.
The discovery was published in 1995 in one of the most-cited multidisciplinary scientific journals, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
However, the discovery was met with disbelief rather than excitement by the scientific world. It is thought that perhaps because Svanborg was an immunologist, rather than part of the cancer research and pharmaceutical development community, that her research and findings were not taken seriously back then.
But she didn't give up
For the past 20 years, Svanborg has been determinedly working on her research, and building up on more and more concrete scientific evidence to back her initial findings.
Hamlet has since been tested on both humans and animals and has repeatedly proven to kill over 40 types of cancers, sparing healthy cells in the process (unlike chemotherapy).
For example, in one human test, nine patients with bladder cancer were given five daily doses of Hamlet in the week before their tumour-removing surgery.
Just two hours after the dose, eight out of the nine patients started passing out cancer cells with their urine. Their tumour also reduced in size.
Svanborg continues to work in order to get Hamlet onto the market and recently, presented her latest findings at a breastfeeding and lactation symposium in Italy. Her team has also made a breakthrough in discovering how to mass produce Hamlet, meaning it is ready to be turned into a new cancer treatment drug.
While she still needs the big pharmas to invest in Hamlet, as mums, let's remind ourselves of this miraculous, 'infinitely complex' fluid that only we have the ability to produce. It's nourishment, comfort and miraculous healer and so much more!
Breastmilk never fails to amaze, right?
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