Good news moms, research has found that breastfeeding for more than six months may protect you from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease…

Mothers who breastfed a child or children for six months or more have a lower risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) years later during mid-life.

This is according to research from University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Kaiser Permanente.

Currently, there are no other prevention options, aside from a healthy lifestyle for NAFLD.

“Breastfeeding and its benefits to the child have been widely studied for years,” said Veeral Ajmera, MD, hepatologist at UC San Diego Health and an assistant professor of medicine at UC San School of Medicine. “However, this new analysis contributes to the growing body of evidence showing that breastfeeding a child also offers significant health benefits to the mother – namely, protecting her from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in middle age.”

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Study based on 30 years of data

The researchers used data collected through the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study in which 844 black and white women were monitored every two to five years for up to 30 years.

At the end of the study, participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan of their abdomens, which allowed researchers to look at levels of liver fat, a sign of NALFD.

According to study findings, women who breastfed one or more children for longer than six months had a lower risk of NAFLD compared to those who did not breastfeed or breastfed for under one month.

Typical of NAFLD, women diagnosed with the disease 25 years later had a higher body mass index, larger waist circumference, higher triglycerides and lower HDL cholesterol when compared to those without NAFLD.

What is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD?

NAFLD is a common cause of chronic liver disease.

It is usually asymptomatic until advanced stages of liver disease and includes a spectrum of disease severity, with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) being the most aggressive type.

Multiple genetic and environmental factors contribute to NAFLD, and certain health conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, can be predisposing factors. It is estimated that tens of millions of people globally are living with NAFLD and NASH.

Weight loss and a healthier diet are the current standards of care.

Source: University of California – San Diego via www.sciencedaily.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.