Well­ness Arti­cles

Breast Feed­ing

In an Asso­ci­ated Press story of Octo­ber 19, 1999 was a report of a new study that shows that breast fed babies may up to 30% lower risk of devel­op­ing leukemia. These find­ings were also pub­lished in the Octo­ber 20 issue of the Jour­nal of the National Can­cer Insti­tute. This new research was per­formed by researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota Can­cer cen­tre. The results of the study showed that the longer the babies were breast fed the more pro­tected they were against leukemia. Babies breast fed for one month were 21% less at risk from leukemia, while those breast fed for six months or more were 30% less likely to develop leukemia. Dr. Les Robin­son, the prin­ci­ple researcher, summed the results up as fol­lows; “We have long known of breast-feeding’s health ben­e­fits in terms of pro­tect­ing chil­dren from infec­tion. Now we have evi­dence to sug­gest its immune-​stimulating effects may pro­vide another sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage, pro­tec­tion against cancer.”

Breast-​feeding Increases Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment in Children

Reuters Health reported on Sep­tem­ber 24, 1999 about an analy­sis per­formed at the Uni­ver­sity of Ken­tucky were researchers reviewed 20 stud­ies con­ducted between 1966 and 1996. The researchers con­trolled for such vari­ables as birth­weight, edu­ca­tion and other factors.

The results showed a sig­nif­i­cant increase in cog­ni­tive devel­op­ment of 3.16 com­pared to for­mula fed babies. The gains were more pro­nounced in babies born with a lower birth weight than in chil­dren with nor­mal birth weight. The increases in cog­ni­tive devel­op­ment from breast-​feeding were noticed in chil­dren as early as six months of age and per­sisted up to 15 years of age, the longest fol­low up of the study. The authors of the study did note that sev­eral pre­vi­ous stud­ies sup­ported the hypoth­e­sis that human breast milk does sup­port neu­ro­logic development.

Breast Feed­ing Linked to Higher IQ

From a study done at the Uni­ver­sity of Ken­tucky, reported in the Asso­ci­ated Press comes the results show­ing a link between breast feed­ing and child intel­li­gence. The report states, “At least 60% of the aver­age intel­li­gence gain seen in breast-​fed infants comes from breast milk’s nutri­tional value.”

Researcher James Ander­son reviewed 20 dif­fer­ent stud­ies com­par­ing brain devel­op­ment in breast-​fed infants to those fed for­mula. He states, “Our study con­firms that breast-​feeding is accom­pa­nied by a about a five-​points higher IQ than in bottle-​fed infants.” He goes on to say, “Our best esti­mates are that mater­nal bond­ing and the deci­sion to breast feed account for about 40 per­cent of the increase, but that 60 per­cent is related to the actual nutri­tional value of the breast milk.”

Breast Feed­ing, More is Better

From Reuters Health news ser­vice comes an arti­cle dated Decem­ber 31, 1998 about breast feed­ing babies. The arti­cle starts by con­firm­ing what we have known for some time that infants who are fed only breast milk have stronger resis­tance to infec­tion and there­fore are at low­ered risk of get­ting infec­tions. Stud­ies have shown that mother pass immunity-​enhanced agent to their babies through breast milk. This results in babies less likely to suf­fer from res­pi­ra­tory and gas­troin­testi­nal ill­nesses than those who are bottle-​fed. Researchers found that the breast-​fed babies had sig­nif­i­cantly less diar­rhea, vom­it­ing, cough, and wheez­ing in the first six months of life.

The study also showed that those babies fed a higher por­tion of breast milk had higher resis­tance and lower rate of ill­ness. Those babies fed a lower ratio of breast milk were increas­ingly more vul­ner­a­ble to the ill­ness men­tioned. How­ever, once the ratio of breast milk to other food hit a cer­tain level where the food intake was higher than the breast milk, the results for the chil­dren were the same as those who were fed no breast milk at all.

This study points out that the more breast milk fed to the infant the bet­ter. But if the amount of breast milk drops below a cer­tain level, the ben­e­fi­cial effects are lost.

Breast­feed­ing Saves Children’s Lives.

From the British Med­ical Jour­nal is a news story that states, “Breast­feed­ing could save lives”. Accord­ing to find­ings pre­sented at the United Nations Com­mis­sion on the Sta­tus of Women, chil­dren who are not breast fed seem to have weaker immune sys­tems and, there­fore, are at a greater risk of infec­tion and death. The num­bers are alarm­ing. Of the 12 mil­lion chil­dren under 5 years of age who die each year, a full 1.5 mil­lion could have been saved had they been breast-​fed.

Breast­feed­ing even has ben­e­fits for the mother’s health. The March 17th, 1999 Reuters Health reported on a study pre­sented at the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­so­matic Soci­ety annual meet­ing. There has been noticed a breast­feed­ing hor­mone, oxytin that helps lower the mother’s blood pres­sure. Stud­ies con­firmed the greater pres­ence of this hor­mone in moth­ers who were breast­feed­ing. The pres­ence of the hor­mone oxytin cor­re­lated directly with the moth­ers who had lower blood pressure.

Chil­dren also receive ben­e­fit from breast­feed­ing sim­ply by avoid­ing cow’s-milk. In the Octo­ber 15th, 1998 issue of the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine appears an arti­cle dis­cussing chronic con­sti­pa­tion linked to infants and chil­dren with intol­er­ance to cow’s milk. In addi­tion, intol­er­ance to cow’s milk was also linked to diar­rhea, aller­gic rhini­tis, asthma, and eczema. I guess the bot­tom line is, when it comes to babies, “Mother’s milk, it does their body good!”

Ran­dom Article

From the Sep­tem­ber 19, 2002 issue of the online Intelihealth comes a story with the head­line that high­lights a seri­ous trend, “Kids Using

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