Breastfeeding for Longer Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Women who manage to breastfeed for longer, six months or more have a decrease of 47% in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding for Longer Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A study, published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine and conducted by a scientific team of doctors the north american concluded that breastfeeding for longer reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The search lasted 30 years, began in the year of 1985 and analyzed approximately 5 thousand women between the ages of 18 and 30 years.

This observational study demonstrates that breastfeeding for longer was associated with a reduction in relatively strong, graded from 25% to 47% in the incidence of diabetes, even after accounting for measures biochemical risk factors and clinical and demographic, asgestational diabetes, family history, behaviors, lifestyle, and weight gain.

The research followed 1.238 women during their childbearing years, concluding that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women who breastfeed decreases when compared with that of women who never breast-fed:
  • Decreases by 25% in women who breast-fed for less than six months;
  • Decreases 47% in women who breastfed for more than six months.

WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES AND WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED?

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a metabolic disorder characterized by high level of glucose in the blood, which can lead to health complications severe.

Type 2 Diabetes affects the body’s ability to convert the sugar present in the blood into energy. This process is controlled by a hormone called insulin. In type 2 Diabetes, the body does not respond to insulinas it should (the so-called “insulin resistance”) and also does not produce insulin properly. This has as a result of the rise in abnormal and progressive levels of “sugar” in the blood (glycaemia).

BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING FOR LONGER

The breastfeeding is an act of love and affection, that provides an intimate relationship between the mother and the baby, being a fundamental factor in the development psicoafetivo.

The advantages of breastfeeding are numerous and already widely recognised, both short-and long-term, there is a global consensus that the practice unique is the best way of feeding children up to 6 months of life, and it should be extended as much as possible because of the numerous advantages both for the mother as for the baby.

The considerable decrease of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is one of these advantages.

FOR THAT REASON, BREASTFEED FOR A LONGER TIME DECREASES THE RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

The incidence of diabetes decreased gradually as the duration of breastfeeding increases, even after taken into account all possible risk factors.

Many biological processes may explain the protective effects of breastfeeding in the body and breast, including the influence of hormones associated with breastfeeding in the cells of the pancreas that control insulin levels in the blood.

The explanation can begin with the fact that the body need to “divert” from the bloodstream 50g of glucose every day for milk production. Sum to that the effort of the organism, which spends about 300 to 500 calories a day for breastfeeding.

The additional energy required for lactation is associated with short-term changes in insulin and glucose. In addition, prolactin levels are also different in mothers who manage to breastfeed for a longer time in relation to that non-breastfeeding mothers, and studies suggest that prolactin regulates several key aspects of the homeostasis of the energy.

Prolactin acts on the breast, causing the secretory cells produce milk. This hormone influences the mass of cells β-pancreatic and insulin sensitivity, limiting thus the risk of developing diabetes mellitus.