Breastfeeding alters gut bacteria in infants which could be providing health benefits for kids, later on in life.
Wondering whether to breastfeed or go for the bottle? The former can be more difficult to start, but it can come with benefits.
A study published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology has shown a possible link between breastfeeding and a reduced risk of asthma exacerbations later in life. In the study, researchers analyzed data from 960 children aged 4 to 12 years of age. All of them used regular asthma medication.
It was found that those children who breastfed as infants had a 45% lower risk of experiencing difficulties with their asthma, compared with those who did not.
Why the difference? Dr. Anke Maitland-van der Zee, senior author of the study isn’t entirely sure, but she wagered it was connected to gut bacteria.
“Changes in the composition and activity of the gut microbiome in early life can influence the immune system and these changes might indirectly lead to changes in asthma later in life,” she said.
However, while breastfeeding is considered to be protective, it was noted that it’s still unclear as to why.
Whether there is a causal relation between the act and asthma exacerbations, or if other factors are at play, wasn’t determined in the study.
For tips on getting started with a breastfeeding routine, click here.
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