The scientists who conducted the study found that babies who had been breastfed for at least 6 months, had a 19% lower risk of developing leukemia as a child, compared to babies who had never been breastfed or had been breastfed for a shorter period of time.
Efrat Amitay, a researcher at the School of Public Health within the University of Haifa in Israel and one of the lead authors of the study, explained that breastfeeding is a very accessible and low-cost method of preventing various childhood illnesses, such as leukemia, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ear and gastrointestinal infections, obesity and even type 2 diabetes later in the baby’s life.
Dr. Amitay continued saying that breastfeeding should be encouraged more facilitated on a wide level because its benefits for the babies’ health are numerous.
Although previous studies have shown that breastfeeding has a number of benefits for both the baby and the mother, the new study suggests there is only an association between breastfeeding and a reduced risk of developing leukemia.
The researchers wanted to point out that their study does not show breastfeeding itself lowers the risk of leukemia in childhood.
According to recent reports, more than 175,000 babies get cancer every year worldwide.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that attacks the blood cells and accounts for more than 30% of all childhood cancers.
This makes it the most common type of cancer that affects babies every year.
The researchers detailed the findings of their study in the latest edition of the online journal JAMA Pediatrics.
To see if there is any association between breastfeeding and a lower risk of leukemia, the scientists analyzed 18 studies that included about 10,000 children diagnosed with leukemia, and 17,500 children that were healthy.
The researchers also analyzed 15 different studies to determine whether breastfeeding led to any health benefits, as compared to babies who were not breastfed.
According to their studies, the babies who had been breastfed had an 11% lower risk of developing childhood leukemia.
Although the authors of the study are not 100% certain how breastfeeding can protect the baby from this type of cancer, they believe it has something to do with the fact that breast milk may influence the strengthening of the child’s immune system.
Dr. Amitay said that breast milk is considered a total food for the infant because it provides it with all the nutritional needs in the first months of its life.
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