Mark Underwood, chief of neonatology at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, will discuss how the components of human breast milk may hold the key to protection against infection and lifelong health on Thursday, July 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Old Soul @ 40 Acres, 3434 Broadway in Sacramento. The event is free and open to the public.
The presentation is part of Science Café, a monthly series of presentations produced by Powerhouse Science Center and the Research and Education Community Advisory Board in collaboration with UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center.
In Underwood’s topic, “Breast milk, Intestinal Bacteria, Diabetes and Obesity,” he will share how bacteria in the intestines of babies have changed dramatically from mostly healthy bacteria to mostly harmful bacteria over the past 60 years, with the introduction of antibiotics, cesarean deliveries, formula feeding and a focus on hygiene. The unforeseen consequences have been large increases in allergies, eczema, obesity, diabetes and heart disease in children and adults.
Underwood has been a pediatrician and neonatologist for 30 years. In addition to caring for premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, he works with researchers in the UC Davis Departments of Chemistry, Food Science and Technology, Viticulture and Enology and the School of Veterinary Medicine to discover the secrets of how human milk shapes the community of bacteria in the intestines and to develop new probiotics based on these discoveries.