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Breast Feeding Can Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer and Diabetes

Breast Feeding Can Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer and Diabetes


Two newly published studies find that women who breastfeed can actually reduce their risks of breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

The first study was published in the Annals of Oncology last month and found that women who breastfed reduced their risk of an aggressive type of breast cancer called hormone receptor-negative tumors up to 20 percent. Researchers noted that lactating triggers changes in milk duct cells, in turn making them more resistant to cancer cells.

The other study studied how breastfeeding can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and was published in the Annals on Internal Medicine on November 24. Researchers gathered 1,035 women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)—a form of high blood sugar that affects pregnant women and makes women more prone to Type 2 diabetes later on.



Study participants were examined six to nine months after delivering their babies and followed up for two years. Researchers noted that 1,010 women developed GDM and 959 continued to check in for the next two years. They found that 113 women eventually had Type 2 diabetes.

Those who breastfed were able to cut their risks of developing Type 2 diabetes, and lowered this risk by breastfeeding for a longer period of time. Women who breastfed for 10 months decreased their chances by 60 percent in the two years, rather than feeding their babies formula.

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