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Researchers: Breast milk may have benefits in pill form

DAVIS, Calif. -- Researchers at the University of California, Davis, say they have the answer to intestinal problems in at-risk babies and adults, and it's in the form of breast milk pills, CBS Sacramento station KOVR-TV reports.

Researchers have long said that mother's milk can prevent disease, and in a UC Davis food science lab, scientists have applied that old research for a new medical breakthrough.

Dr. Bruce German and his team of microbiologists and chemists have developed a probiotic supplement taken from human breast milk. They said it could help at-risk children in developing countries, cancer patients and premature babies.

After 10 years of research, German said the breast milk bacteria is indigestible and starves out bad bugs in the gut.

Researchers separate the sugars, or the good bacteria, and store it in the oxygen-free chambers. The bacteria collected in the research lab then goes to the milk processing lab. State-of-the-art machines turn the compounds into a powder that can be used in a variety of products.

This will eventually end up on store shelves if German has his way. Now his challenge is coming up with a marketing strategy to get past the ick factor.

"When we consume cheese or when we consume other fermented products, we consume microorganisms," he said. "In this case we consume bacteria that will help us with lots of things."

Researchers are in the process of launching a startup in the San Francisco Bay Area and getting it out in less than a year.

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