New Study Connects Breastfeeding With Lower MS Risk

New Study Connects Breastfeeding With Lower MS Risk

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Cincinnati women may be concerned to hear that females are twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) during their lifetime as their male counterparts. Scientists are still in search for an explanation for the variation, and ultimately a cure for MS, but in the meantime have discovered a possible link between breastfeeding and the reduced probability of developing MS in women. 

The Study

397 women were recruited for the experiment. All of the participants had recently been diagnosed with MS or a condition known as clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), which may ultimately lead to MS. The average age of the women in the group was 37, and results from the participants were compared with 433 women who did not have MS. 

The results of the survey yielded 85 healthy female respondents revealing that they had breastfed for at least 15 months during childbearing and rearing years. Forty-four participants with MS said the same. On the other hand, 118 participants living with MS revealed that they breastfed fewer than four months, while 110 healthy respondents bear witness of the same practices. 

It was also found that women who began their menstruation cycles at or after age 15 were at 44 percent lower risk of developing MS than women whose ovulation cycles began at age 11 or younger. Forty-four healthy women and 27 participants with MS or CIS told the study’s coordinators that they experienced their first menstruation at age 15 or later. Meanwhile, 131 women with MS or CIS revealed that they experienced their first ovulation cycles at age 11 or younger. One hundred and twenty women without the disease declared the same. 

What Does the Research Mean?

Although the development of MS in women may be linked to how early their menstruation cycles begin, none of the evidence presented in the recent study is conclusive. There is also no solid proof of women who choose to breastfeed over formula being completely immune from the disease. The most recent survey does, however, present the possibility of nursing during child rearing years lowering a woman’s chances of developing the debilitating illness. Such research, when substantiated, may prove helpful to industry health insurance providers in coming years.  

A Note About Breastfeeding in Cincinnati

Cincinnati presently faces a health crisis in which infants are dying prematurely. More than 540 babies have died by natural causes in Hamilton county over the past five years, which places the region as one of the worst urban communities when it comes to rearing small children in the United States. Some of the death rates have been due to premature births, but the bulk of the high number comes from poor health. When you think about the nutrients attached to a mother’s breast milk, and how few women in Cincinnati choose nursing over formula, the notion of prevention comes to mind. Could breastfeeding be the cure for both women at risk of developing MS and Cincinnati babies with a higher probability of dying prematurely? The answer to such question has yet to be determined.

For now, Cincinnati women are advised to maintain regular checkups with the doctor and, if possible, choose to breastfeed over formula. Remaining healthy and alert is the way to enjoying a fulfilling life.