A recent study from the University of California once again reaffirms what we know to be true about breast milk: it’s amazing and may even help protect mamas from liver disease!
We know breast milk is magic. They don’t call it ‘liquid gold’ for nothing! Though we know this, we still can’t help but love studies that continue to tell the world about why we love mama’s milk so much!
Recently the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Kaiser Permanente released results that showed mamas who breastfed their babies for at least six months may be at lower risk for non-alcholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) later in their lives.
Related: The Colors of the Breast Milk Rainbow, and What They Mean
Dr. Veeral Ajmera is with UC San Diego Health and said that the benefits of breastfeeding for children have been studied for years. This study, however, focuses on the ever-growing evidence that breastfeeding is also good for mamas–in this case, possibly protecting against NAFLD in middle age.
Can breastfeeding possibly be protective against fatty liver disease later in life? According to researchers at our parent @UCSanDiego, the answer may be Yes! https://t.co/90X1lOA6hI #UCSD #UCstrong @UCSDmedschool
— Center for Better Beginnings (@ucsdcbb) January 6, 2019
NAFLD is caused when the liver stores excess fat. It occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol, and it can cause some pretty extensive damage to the liver. Severe inflammation and scarring can occur and leave mothers with exhausted livers failing to do their jobs. Symptoms of NAFLD include jaundice, swelling of the stomach and pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen.
The study looked at almost 900 women of different ethnicities and races for 25 years after they gave birth. Thirty-two percent of the women said they nursed for up to a month and 25% said they nursed for up to six months. Forty-three percent of the women said they nursed longer than six months.
At the end of the study, six percent of the participants reported having NAFLD. Of those, though, the moms who had breastfed for six months or more were 52% less likely to have NAFLD than compared to moms who had nursed less. Add that to breastfeeding benefits for mama like helping shrink the uterus, lowering the risk of diabetes, arthritis, cancers and heart diseases and…looks like Mama’s Milk does her body good too!