We know how wonderful and perfect breastmilk is for a baby. It is said to have the perfect mix of nutrients that a growing infant needs and even has antibodies to help fight infections. It is said to help the mum too. It helps her develop a bond with the baby and helps her burn off all the pregnancy fat.
Now, a study has found another glowing attribute of breastmilk: it reduces a woman’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers followed 1238 women (with average age 24 at the start), for upto 30 years. Each woman delivered at least one baby and none had diabetes before. Scientists collected data on health and lifestyle and conducted several physical examinations during the course of the project.
Of the lot, around 182 women had developed diabetes, and after adjusting physical activity, smoking and other factors, it was found that women who breastfed upto 6 months had a 25% reduced risk for diabetes. Breastfeeding for 6 to 12 months a reduced risk of 48% and 12 months or more a 47% reduction. The associations held for obese women and for those who’ve had gestational diabetes (both strong risk factors for type 2 diabetes).
This could be because lactating women have lower glucose circulating in their blood and lactation may help preserve insulin-cell function.
This nature’s gift is truly more precious than all the gold and diamonds of the world put together and mums will vouch for that.
Disclaimer: This article was originally published in nytimes
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