Breastfeeding May Lower a Woman’s Risk of Developing Metabolic Syndrome

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Breastfeeding her child may lower a woman’s risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome, a condition linked to heart disease and diabetes in women, according to a Kaiser Permanente study that was published online by PR Newswire, and will appear in the February issue of Diabetes.

Breastfeeding lowers Metabolic Syndrome risk by 39 to 56 percent (depending on the duration of breastfeeding) for women without gestational diabetes, and 44 to 86 percent (depending on the duration of breastfeeding) for women with gestational diabetes, researchers said. Previous studies have shown that post-birth, breastfeeding mothers have better blood glucose levels than non-breastfeeding mothers, but this 20-year prospective study is the first to measure all components of Metabolic Syndrome both before pregnancy and after weaning in women of childbearing age.

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