Contrary to World Health Organization’s recommendations, exclusively breastfed children are not healthier, medical experts say, based on their new findings. The longer mothers choose to breastfeed their newborn babies, the more they expose them to highly dangerous chemicals.
There have been many researches conducted in order to determine whether women’s choice of breastfeeding their infants during their first months of life is good or not. Many debates are still made on the topic, as some doctors advise mothers to breastfeed their babies, while others strongly oppose this practice.
Medical experts from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston have conducted a new study in an attempt to help mothers choose what is best for their children. Their research has revealed that breastfed children present a higher level of perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs) in their blood making them more vulnerable to certain diseases.
PFASs chemicals are usually found on our clothes, food packages and other products. These are said to make commercial products more resistant to grease, water and stains, but they can be very noxious to our health.
Previous studies have revealed that these industrial chemicals can cause different types of cancer, they can lead to immune system impairment and various abnormalities of the reproductive system. Effects could be a lot more powerful on infants, who are much more sensitive to chemicals, doctors, have concluded.
Researchers wanted to determine whether the level of PFASs chemicals increases with each month of breastfeeding. The experiment was conducted on 81 infants from Faroe Islands, who were born in the period between 1997 and 2000.
Medical experts have compared various blood samples withdrawn from the infants and their mothers. The blood tests had been withdrawn at the children’s birth, when they were 11 months, 18 months and 5 years old. In parallel, scientists compared the PFASs levels from mothers’ blood samples that were taken at 32 weeks of pregnancy.
Results have shown that each month of breastfeeding causes a 20-30% increase of PFASs chemicals in toddlers’ blood. As a result, medical experts recommend mothers to breastfeed their children for a maximum period of three or four months and to ignore WHO’s recommendations of a two-year breastfeeding period.
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