More long-term benefits from breastfeeding. The first study finds that long-term it's as good or better than statins! From Science Daily:
Young adults who were breastfed for three months or more as babies have a significantly lower risk of chronic inflammation associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
"This study shows that birthweight and breastfeeding both have implications for children's health decades later," said Molly W. Metzger, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and a co-author of the study with Thomas W. McDade, PhD, of Northwestern University.
"Specifically, we are looking at the effects of these early factors on later levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker associated with risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease," Metzger said. "Comparing the long-term effects of breastfeeding to the effects of clinical trials of statin therapy, we find breastfeeding to exert effects that are as large or larger."
The researchers used data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, including parent surveys, and blood samples providing measurements of CRP. These findings held up in a series of sibling models, in which one sibling was breastfed and the other was not. Such models provide improved confidence in the results by implicitly controlling for genetic factors for elevated CRP.
This study was published a year ago (Aug. 2013) and shows a long-term benefit to the mother (reduced Alzheimer's risk) of breastfeeding. From Science Daily:
Mothers who breastfeed their children may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, with longer periods of breastfeeding also lowering the overall risk, a new study suggests.
The report, newly published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, suggests that the link may be to do with certain biological effects of breastfeeding. For example, breastfeeding restores insulin tolerance which is significantly reduced during pregnancy, and Alzheimer's is characterised by insulin resistance in the brain.