The Magic of Mother's Milk

Among many other benefits, breastfeeding improves babies' muscle strength later in life

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that adolescents who were breastfed as babies exhibit a healthier physical condition than those who were not breastfed.

This finding adds to a list of benefits derived from breastfeeding. Such benefits include immunological protection against allergies, skin diseases, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, breastfeeding can ensure healthy growth and development as well as intelligence of the child.

According to UNICEF, an estimated 1.5 million lives would be saved if all babies were exclusively breastfed from birth.

Enrique García Artero, researcher at the University of Granada and principal author of the study, and colleagues examined the type and duration of feeding that 2,567 adolescents received as babies. The researchers found a correlation between duration of breastfeeding and muscular leg strength of adolescents. That is, those who were breastfed for a longer time span displayed greater leg muscle strength than those who were breastfed for less time.

There are other advantages to breastfeeding that do not involve the baby, says García Artero. Not only can families save money by not purchasing other milks and formulas, but women also reduce their own risks of post-birth hemorrhage, anaemia, maternity mortality, and breast and ovarian cancer.

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Review Date: 
January 5, 2011
Last Updated:
January 6, 2011