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Breastfeeding may reduce risk of Alzheimer's

Scientists say breastfeeding may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease Credit: PA

Scientists at the University of Cambridge claim mothers who breastfeed may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers say they've found a very significant correlation between the two. It's believed it may be linked to the way breastfeeding can influence the hormonal balance in women.

Breastfeeding 'lowers risk of Alzheimer's'

Mothers who breastfeed their children may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, according to a new study.

Dr Molly Fox, from the department of biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge, led the research.

Scientists say they observed a highly significant and consistent correlation between breastfeeding and Alzheimer's.

One theory is that breastfeeding deprives the body of the hormone progesterone, compensating for high levels of progesterone which are produced during pregnancy.

Progesterone is known to desensitise the brain's oestrogen receptors, and oestrogen may play a role in protecting the brain against Alzheimer's.

Another possibility is that breastfeeding increases a woman's glucose tolerance by restoring her insulin sensitivity after pregnancy.