2. Breastfeeding Research, April-June 2014

Breastfeed for more than three months and you may protect your baby from inflammation and heart disease as a young adult!  Chronic inflammation, caused by a hyperactive immune system, has been linked to heart disease and strokes, Type-2 diabetes, late-life disability, and a greater risk of dying.  Researchers noted that higher blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are a key biomarker for inflammation and predict increased cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk in adulthood.  The levels of CPR were evaluated in almost 7,000 young adults aged from 24 to 32. Their analysis showed that:  1) Lower birth weights and shorter duration of breastfeeding predicted higher CRP levels in young adults, 2) For each extra pound of birth weight, the CRP level in young adulthood was 5% lower, and 3) CPR levels were 20-30% lower in young adults who were breastfed for 3-12 months as babies compared to those who were never breastfed. (“Long-term effects of birth weight and breastfeeding duration on inflammation in early adulthood,”   Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, online 23 April 2014)

Breastfeeding protects children from asthma according to researchers who studied the data from 117 scientific papers over 30 years and involving some 250,000 babies. Breastfeeding cuts the risk of asthma by 37 per cent in infants under three and by 17% for children aged seven and older. (“Breastfeeding and childhood asthma: systemic review and meta-analysis,” The American Journal of Epidemiology, May 15, 2014; 179 (10); 1153-67)

A fluoride study followed about 1000 persons up to the age of 38 from 1972-1973 in the town of Dunedin.  The study concluded that fluoridated water did not affect or lower one’s IQ.  However, the study found that breastfeeding was associated with a child’s high IQ. (“Community Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Prospective Study in New Zealand” American Journal of Public Health, May 2014)

A medical researcher said exclusive breastfeeding of babies for six months could prevent them from developing cancer later in life.  Dr Bamidele Iwalokun of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research said children denied exclusive breastfeeding in their first six months were prone to cancer.  Why?  Because Lactalbumin, found only in breast milk, is an anti-cancer agent and such a child is deprived of Lactalbumin.  Only about 17% of mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively.  The researcher said:  “Breast milk was the most complete form of nutrition for infants’ health, immunity and development. There is no better substitute than the breast milk for a child in the first six months of life. There is no infant formula that is better than breast milk because in the breast milk you have antibodies that will help defenceless infants to fight the war against diseases that challenge their lives.” (“Breastfeeding can prevent cancer,” Nigerian Tribrune, June 26, 2014)

No adverse effects on IQ could be seen from anti-epileptic drug exposure via breast milk at 6 years of age.  This study involved 181 children and found that “breastfed children exhibited higher IQ and enhanced verbal abilities,” according to the authors.  (JAMA Pediatrics, June 16, 2014)

Sheila Kippley
PS:  I had to add this latest news.  This month at the Integrated Reproductive, Mother, Neonatal and Child Health Programme in Lahore, the capital city of Pakistani province of Punjab, it was reported that solid steps had been taken to reduce maternal mortality as well as child mortality up to age five years. Addressing the participants of the meeting, Health Director General Dr Zahid Pervaiz said that if mothers feed their babies for two years, the mortality rate in infants would be reduced as well as natural birth spacing and malnutrition problems would also be solved. He said that reasonable birth spacing could reduce the maternal mortality rate.  If anyone is interested in promoting natural child spacing through breastfeeding, please use the book The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding to send to others, those in the medical or missionary field.  It is a very short, inexpensive book and easy to read.

Comments are closed.