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Breast-feeding Reduces Risk Of Celiac Disease

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Breast-feeding reduces risk of celiac disease

Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:05 PM GMT

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - It appears that breast-feeding lowers the risk of developing celiac disease, a common gastrointestinal problem caused by intolerance to a grain protein called gluten, according to a report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

As lead investigator Dr. Tony Akobeng told Reuters Health, "breast-feeding at the time of solid food introduction significantly reduces the risk of celiac disease." Moreover, "the longer a baby is breast-fed, the more likely (the child) will not develop symptoms of celiac disease."

Akobeng of Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals in the UK and colleagues came to this conclusion after a review of six studies, involving more than 1,100 individuals with celiac disease and almost 3500 comparison subjects.

With the exception of one small study involving just 8 cases and 73 controls, all of the others found an association between increasing duration of breast-feeding and a decreased risk of celiac disease.

Compared with infants who were not breast-fed at the time of gluten introduction, breast-fed infants were 52-percent less likely to develop celiac disease.

It is not known how this protection is achieved, according to the investigators. It may simply be that breast-feeding during weaning leads to less gluten exposure. Breast-feeding could also reduce intestinal infection that might reduce the risk of celiac disease in susceptible infants.

The researchers also note that it is not clear whether breast-feeding "delays the onset of symptoms or provides a permanent protection against the disease."

SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood, November 21, 2005.


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I read this yesterday... just ANOTHER good reason to nurse your babies!! I also read that if you're still breastfeeding when you introduce cereal to your baby, the chances of celiac disease are less.


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Yeah!!!! I breastfed my daughter until she weaned herself off of me at 8 months. Being a mother, I can't help but worry if she'll develop celiac disease later in life like I did. It's nice to have something reassuring for once.


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I did breast feed my son,for the first year of his life,and no one else has celiac or allergies in our family.

I can t find any explenation for his condition today,rather than his diet later in life,alot of milk,and pizza!!


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