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Exclusive and prolonged breastfeeding may benefit the heart health of the infant

Posted:  Monday, June 08, 2015

It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed a child for 6 months and there are very good reasons backing this recommendation. A recent study has found that breastfeeding status at 3 months of age could provide a window to the child’s health in the future. It emerged that exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age correlated with reduced risk of adiposity and cardiometabolic markers at 4 years.

Published in the Journal of Nutrition, the study evaluated the breastfeeding status of 727 children. Based on this assessment, the researchers classified the information into 3 brackets: exclusive or predominant breastfeeding, partial breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding. The total duration of any breastfeeding was classified as <3 months, 3– 6 months, > 6 to 12 months, and >12 months.

The researchers also collected information on body mass index (BMI), serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), and insulin at 4 years of age.

They found that children who were non-breastfeeding or partially breastfeeding at 3 months reported higher BMI than the exclusive breastfeeding group. Non-breastfed children also recorded higher values of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides than exclusively breastfed children.

That’s not it! Exclusively breastfed children recorded many more benefits; their breastfeeding status was inversely associated with insulin levels. Furthermore, breastfeeding for >12 months was associated with lower adiposity.

So what is the best and easy way to insure your child against heart conditions in later life? Exclusive and prolonged breastfeeding would be the right answer!

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