Breast feeding for at least six months lowers cholesterol in adult life
Babies who are breast fed for at least six months have lower cholesterol levels in adult life, says a multi-author, multi-centre study by Dr Christopher G Owen and associates. This study analysed the data of over 17,000 adults and found that those who were exclusively breastfed had lower cholesterol than those who were fed only on formula feeds. The study summarised information from 12 890 breastfed and 4608 formula-fed subjects. It was a systematic review of 17 research papers and was published in the August issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ( Am J Clin Nutr 2008 88: 305-314 ). Even those who were only partially breast fed also had lower cholesterol levels in adulthood. If this lower cholesterol levels are translated into heart disease risk, initial breast feeding can be considered to protect against heart disease in adult life.