Nutrition has a predominant and recognizable role in health management. Nutrigenetics is the science that identifies and characterizes gene variants associated with differential response to nutrients and relating this variation to variable disease.
Breast milk, with nutritional but also functional components, is a real biological system. It is associated not only with improved parameters of growth, but also with a better neuronal-behavioral development, plus with the prevention of some communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Human milk consists not only of nutrients, but also of biologically active compounds, which may play an important role in the health benefits associated with breast-feeding
Genes and nutrition seem, therefore, to be in mutual relationship. The source of these health beneficial effects may be the peculiar composition of breast milk, partly explained by epigenetic processes. Indeed, the relationship between nutrition in early life and genome may allow to understand the underlying mechanisms of disease that have high impact on individual health.
The preventive effect on infections is one of the most important health benefits in relation to breastfeeding.