Moms Who Breastfeed for Six Months and Have Healthy BMI May Protect Children from Fatty Liver Disease in Their Teens




It was proven numerous times that breastfeeding can bring various health benefits in newborns. Many of these benefits are well-known, but one of them was discovered recently. It turns out that breastfeeding may lower the chances of the emergence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adulthood and this claim was confirmed by the research revealed at the annual International Liver Congress organized in Spain a few days ago.

Scientists have concluded that breastfeeding for a period of half a year lowered the risk of the emergence of fatty liver disease (nonalcoholic) in adulthood by 35% compared to infants that were breastfed for less than 5-6 months. Australian scientists have also concluded that the BMI (body mass index) of mothers before pregnancy is also related to the infant’s ability to witness the emergence of this serious disease.

Mums with BMI that is below a standard range (between 24,9 and 18,5) were able to lower the risk of developing this disease by amazing 50% compared to those who has abnormal BMI.

According to Dr. Brian DeBosch, a famous gastroenterologist, this discovery is not a surprise because it represents a continuation of earlier scientific studies focused on the connection between the metabolic health of mothers and the health condition of their kids which included the risk of obesity, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver issues and metabolic syndrome. It is good to point out that Dr. DeBosch was not part of this study.

In case you didn’t know, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has become a very serious health issue in the world. According to some stats, 4 out of 10 people in the United States are affected by this disease.

In addition, the widespread presence of this serious disease, which actually represents an accumulation of additional fat in all liver cells, is increasing in both children and adults. As a matter of fact, a few studies conducted not while ago suggest that this is the most typical disease related to human liver in people aged between 2 and 20 years.

Even though the main reason why non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs are still not discovered, many scientists claim that high cholesterol levels, obesity and the presence of type 2 diabetes are some of the main factors that contribute to the emergence of this health problem.

Dr. Oyekoya Ayonrinde, the head of this study, said that the basic goal of his team was to check the connection between nutrition in the earliest childhood, maternal markers and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults. Their study was able to show that some maternal markers and influences can increase or decrease the prevalence of this disease in adulthood.

The scientists analyzed information and data obtained from previous long-term study conducted in Australia focused on pregnant women and their babies also known as Raine Study. To be more precise, they have analyzed the medical records of more than 1.000 individuals at the age of 17. They had to fill forms, questionnaires, perform interviews, physical tests and blood test.

In this way, the scientists were able to determine their development starting from the moment they appeared in the womb until today. It is good to know that liver ultrasounds were included in the tests and thanks to these tests it is quite easy to discover the presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

About 15% of all the teenagers that were part of this study had this liver problem. What is interesting is that breastfeeding for half a year has proven to be effective as a form of protection against this condition, but breastfeeding that lasted more than 9 months didn’t lower the chances of developing this disease.

Dr. DeBosch claims that this discovery shows that improving the health of the mother prior and during pregnancy is a very important measure toward preventing serious health issues in children and mothers. Additionally, he pointed out that this study also suggests that there are certain genetic, environmental and even epigenetic elements that lead to metabolic disease.

According to Laurent Castera, who works as a secretary general at the reputable European Association dedicated to the study of liver which is actually the organizer of the aforementioned Congress, the discoveries from this scientific study will help experts learn more about the risk factors associated with the emergence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in teens.

Laurent also said that the results show how important it is to feed infants properly and the positive effects and importance of breastfeeding in the first six months.

Scientific studies conducted before this one have shown that breast milk can significantly lower the chances of obesity in kids and it can also reduce the chances of developing leukemia among young children and teenagers.

Via Medical Daily

Source Medical Daily

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