This is a discussion on Breastfeeding may protect children from digestive disease within the Medical forums, part of the Health category; Breastfeeding may protect children from digestive disease, says a study. A team at Manchester University, Britain, recently researched on the ...
Breastfeeding may protect children from digestive disease, says a study.
A team at Manchester University, Britain, recently researched on the effect of breastfeeding on the children suffering from coeliac, a disease that makes them intolerant of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
They found the longer a child was breastfed, the lower their risk of the condition, reports the online edition of BBC News.
A number of studies have suggested that early infant feeding practices, as well as genetic factors, may be important in coeliac disease.
The Manchester team found a link between breastfeeding and reduced risk of coeliac disease.
Those infants who were being regularly breastfed when they were first introduced to foods containing gluten cut their risk of developing coeliac disease by 52 percent compared with those who were not being breastfed.
It might be that a child is simply exposed to less gluten during weaning if he or she is being breastfed.
Alternatively, breastfeeding might protect against coeliac disease by preventing gastrointestinal infections in an infant, which can weaken the lining of the bowel and allow gluten to pass deeper into the gut than normal.
Breast milk also contains certain immune cells from the mother that might confer protection against gluten intolerance, they said.
The World Health Organisation recommends women breastfeed babies for at least six months.