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Breast Milk Protects against Asthma?

Doesn't everyone know about the benefits of breast-feeding? If you're one of the few who doesn't know, just check out the wealth of recent research on the topic. (See "Breast-feeding to Prevent Infant Illness" next topic on this site.) If that isn't sufficient proof, consider a study that appeared in the September 25th issue of the British Medical Journal. The study found that children who received milk other than breast milk had a substantial higher risk of developing asthma than children who were exclusively breast-fed for the first four months of life. The authors believe that excluding non-breast milk (and its potentially allergic components) and providing breast milk (and its proven beneficial components) may account for this protective effect. They also note that the age at which other milk is introduced into the children's diet may be more important than how long they nurse. Breast-feeding is an important aspect of the mother-child relationship, and as the evidence continues to show, it's an important aspect of childhood development and overall health.


Oddy WH, Holt PG, Sly PD, et al. Association between breastfeeding and asthma in six-year-old children: Findings of a prospective birth cohort study. British Medical Journal, Sept. 25, 1999: Vol. 319, No. 7213, pp815-19.


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