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Breastfeeding Nearly Halves the Mother's Future Risk of Developing Diabetes

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  • Breastfeeding Nearly Halves the Mother's Future Risk of Developing Diabetes

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    The benefits of breastfeeding for both parties involved in it have long been known: for example, it reduces the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer in the mother, and in the infant, it helps the proper formation of the immune system.

    But nothing has been said about the role of breastfeeding in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Now such evidence has appeared, and this is another argument in favor of the type of feeding that is natural for all mammals.

    A study led by scientists from the Kaiser Permanente Center (Northern California, USA) showed that if a mother breastfeeds her baby for at least six months, her risk of developing type 2 diabetes is almost halved; if less than six months, then by a quarter compared to moms who never breastfeed.


    In contrast to previous studies on this topic, in which data were directly obtained from older women with the disease, in this study, scientists themselves observed the participants throughout their childbearing period and subsequently analyzed the data collected over several decades.


    A total of 1238 black and white women who participated in the CARDIA multicenter study of cardiovascular risk factors, who were 18-30 years old at the time of its initiation and who gave birth at least once over the next 30 years, were monitored for health dynamics in 1238 black and white women.




    Click on the image to see Video: Dr. Chandler discusses the tie between breastfeeding and diabetes




    All of them were regularly examined for the possibility of developing diabetes according to the CARDIA protocol. Data analysis used information on lifestyle and risk factors for diabetes, as well as the timing of breastfeeding.

    It turned out that the incidence of diabetes decreases as the duration of breastfeeding increases, regardless of skin color, lifestyle, body weight, and other risk factors for the development of this disease.

    The fact of the presence of so-called gestational diabetes during pregnancy, which is associated with the work of hormones produced by the placenta, and passes after childbirth, did not play a role either.


    The findings of the scientists from CARDIA are fully consistent with the results of the SWIFT program, funded by the US National Institutes of Health.


    This study analyzed the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy during which gestational diabetes was observed.

    The exact mechanism by which breastfeeding provides protection against diabetes is still unknown.

    Scientists have so far only suggested that glucose metabolism can be influenced, for example, by hormones associated with the lactation process.

    However, any expectant mother can now benefit from these scientific results, especially if she has a family (genetic) predisposition to developing diabetes.







    Breast milk helps the baby's brain develop

    In premature babies, breast milk increases levels of nutrients needed for brain development.

    Breast milk has many beneficial properties: babies who are breastfed are better able to resist bad ecology, they are less likely to become obese later, they are less likely to get malignant diseases, moreover, one of the milk proteins protects immune cells from HIV penetration into them.


    Employees of the Children's National Medical Center (USA) added one more to the beneficial properties of breast milk: it turns out that it helps the brain of children who are born prematurely.


    The study was conducted with children who were born after 32 weeks of pregnancy or earlier (the normal period is 37-39 weeks) and weighed less than 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg).

    They examined the cerebellum and white matter in the right frontal lobe of the cortex using proton magnetic resonance imaging.

    Proton tomography allows you to determine the chemical composition of the nervous tissue.


    It turned out that in the brains of children who were fed with breast milk, and in the brains of children who were fed with infant formula, the levels of some important substances differ.


    So, in children who were fed milk, in the white matter of the frontal lobe there was more inositol, and in the cerebellum - more creatine.

    Inositol is synthesized by various tissues and organs, but it is especially abundant in the brain: here it is located in cell membranes, helping neurotransmitters and some steroid hormones interact with their receptors on cells.

    Creatine, in turn, facilitates the restoration of energy reserves, which is especially important for the brain, especially for the rapidly developing brain of an infant.

    The fact that the level of these substances is increased in the brain indicates that it changes rapidly, ripens faster, which is again very important for children born prematurely.

    Earlier, the same researchers found that breast milk stimulates brain development in premature babies; new data help to understand which metabolic mechanisms are involved.

    The authors of the work reported their results at the annual pediatric conference in Baltimore.
    Last edited by Barbara Radcliffe; 12-21-2020, 01:19 PM.

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