Illustration of a milk gland in the breast

Illustration of a milk gland in the breast

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Credit: JOHN BAVOSI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of a milk gland in the breast. The female breast in humans consists of 15-20 lobes of milk-secreting glands; each lobe is made up of smaller lobules, one of which is shown here. This lobule is surrounded by connective tissue which holds it in place in the breast. Ducts (lower centre) of these glands have their outlet at the nipple. Internally the lobule is lined with milk- producing cells; their secretion of milk (white) is rich in protein, lipids, vitamins and sugars. Hormones during pregnancy stimulate these lobules to become active in preparation for breast-feeding (lactation). After birth, these glands first produce colostrum, then milk.

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Keywords: anatomy, artwork, breast, breast tissue, female, gland, human body, lactation, mammary, milk, reproduction, reproductive system

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