Why Breast-Fed Babies May Live Longer

August 06, 2016 0 Comments

The benefits of breast feeding your baby are well documented and include healthier immune systems, score higher on I.Q. tests and may be less prone to obesity than other babies. Now new research reveals another possible difference in breast-fed babies which is that they may live longer because they have longer telomeres!

What are telomeres?

I'm glad you asked. They are parts of your DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes and protect the genes from damage. Kind of like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces that prevent them from fraying and unraveling.

So why do you need longer telomeres?

These stretches of DNA shorten as cells divide and as people age, and shorter telomeres in adulthood are associated with chronic diseases like diabetes.

The new study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that longer telomeres can be linked to longevity. The study suggests telomere length in early life may be malleable.

The study followed a group of children since birth, measured the telomeres of 4- and 5-year-olds, and discovered that children who consumed only breast milk for the first four to six weeks of life had significantly longer telomeres than those who were given formula, juices, teas or sugar water.

On the contrary, drinking fruit juice every day during the toddler years and a lot of soda at age 4 was also associated with short telomeres.

Read more here.

 

 

 

 

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