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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow BREAST-FEEDING MAY PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES
BREAST-FEEDING MAY PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES
Diabetes Care March 2008, 31:470-475
If babies are breast-fed they seem to be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes as adolescents, according to University of South Carolina researchers. Looking at a subset of data from a larger study, the researchers analyzed 80 people between the ages of 10 and 21 with type 2 diabetes, who were matched with 167 "controls" who did not have diabetes. The breastfeeding rate was lower among people with type 2 diabetes, compared with the control group.

Specifically:

    * Among Hispanics, 50% of the diabetes group was breastfed, compared with 84% of the control group.

    * Among African Americans, only 20% of those with type 2 diabetes had been breastfed, compared to 27% in the control group.
   
    * Among whites, 39% of the diabetes group was breastfed, compared with 78% of the control group.

The researchers concluded that breastfeeding in itself had a protective effect against type 2 diabetes. It also helped to stave off the disease because it affected childhood weights.

Though it seems odd that we need research studies to 'prove' that breast feeding babies is a good thing to do, these kinds of studies are helpful. For one thing, anything we can easily do that lowers the risk of diabetes is a good idea. Especially with the increase in this disease over the last generation. Secondly, it helps quiet those who think that breast feeding in public needs to be controlled or curtailed all together.

Remember, breast feeding a newborn transfers antibodies from mom to babe, and protects against the following diseases-heart disease, lymphoma, allergy, eczema, asthma, Crohn's disease, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It's even been shown to increase the child's intelligence. Mother's milk is really the best food for the baby.

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