Breastfeeding is known to have great benefits for both mother and baby. In addition to increasing the bond between mother and child, this activity can also reduce the risk of breast cancer for the mother.
More recently, breastfeeding is also associated with a reduced risk of diabetes. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine is conducted for 3 decades.
In the study, the researchers recruited more than 1,200 white women and African-American ethnicity.
“We found a very strong association between breastfeeding duration and reduced risk of diabetes, even after taking into account all the risk factors,” said Erica Gunderson, lead author of the study, quoted by AFP on Wednesday (17/01/2018).
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This study showed that women who breastfed for 6 months or more had a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes by 47 percent when compared with women who were not breastfeeding at all.
As for women who breastfed for 6 months or less, the decline in diabetes was 25 percent.
The researchers say that breastfeeding can release protective effects through hormones that work in the pancreas. This is what controls the levels of insulin and sugar in the blood.
“The incidence of diabetes decreases in an assessment over the duration of breastfeeding, regardless of race, gestational diabetes (diabetes experienced by pregnant women), lifestyle, body size, and other metabolic risk measured during pregnancy, implying the possibility that the underlying mechanism is biological, “said Gunderson who is a senior researcher at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, California.
In a previous study, the link between breastfeeding and diabetes risk reduction has not been proven. This is confirmed by Dr. Tracy Flanagan, MD.
“We have known for a long time that breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and baby, but the previous evidence shows only a weak effect on the chronic illness of women,” said Flanagan who is director of women’s health for Kaiser Permanente quoted from The Telegraph on Tuesday (16 / 2018).
“Now we see a much stronger protection from this new study which suggests that mothers who breastfeed for months after childbirth can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by one and a half times as they get older,” he added.
Flanagan also suggested that medical personnel need to make policies to support breastfeeding women as long as possible. It is also supported by the world’s cancer charity.
“We also recommend (mother) to breastfeed her infant exclusively for six months before adding fluids and other foods,” says Susannah Brown, senior science program manager at the World Cancer Research Institute.
“Our research shows that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer by mothers by lowering levels of some cancer-related hormones in the body,” he continued.
“Breast-fed babies also tend not to experience obesity in the future, reducing the risk of cancer in the future,” Brown said.