A new study suggests that mothers who breastfeed run a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, with longer periods of breastfeeding further reducing the risk.
The report 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.
Although they used data gathered from a very small group of just 81 British women, the researchers observed a highly significant and consistent correlation between breastfeeding and Alzheimer’s risk. They argue that this was so strong that any potential sampling error was unlikely.
The findings may point towards new directions for fighting the global Alzheimer’s epidemic – especially in developing countries where cheap, preventative measures are desperately needed.Read more at University of Cambridge