Breastfeeding cuts Alzheimer's risk

Tags: pregnancy

A new study has found a link between breastfeeding and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's.

While other reports have highlighted the benefits that breastfeeding can have on long-term health, few studies have looked into the association between breastfeeding and Alzheimer's disease.

It is thought the risk is reduced due to certain biological effects of breastfeeding, and could act as an added health incentive over bottle-feeding.

Study leader Dr Molly Fox, from the department of biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge, said: "Alzheimer's is the world's most common cognitive disorder and it already affects 35.6 million people. In the future, we expect it to spread most in low and middle-income countries.

"So it is vital that we develop low-cost, large-scale strategies to protect people against this devastating disease."

The report, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease , focused on a group of just 81 British women, but a significant and consistent relationship between breastfeeding and Alzheimer's was observed, the team said.
But the connection was not as strong in mothers who already had a history of dementia in their family.

Copyright Press Association 2013


Ask the expert

Got a question?
Our team of medical experts are ready to help.