Mothers who breast feed their kids are less likely to suffer from hypertension after they reach menopause, suggests a recent study.
According to researchers from Oxford University, women breastfeeding more children and for longer duration was linked to lower risk of hypertension in postmenopausal women, and degree of obesity and insulin resistance moderated the breastfeeding-hypertension association.
The results indicated that the women who breastfed highest quintile of number of children (5 to 11) showed a 51 percent lower risk of hypertension compared with the lowest quintile (0 to 1).
The highest quintile of duration of breastfeeding (96 to 324 months) showed a 45 percent lower risk of hypertension.
Lead study author Nam-Kyong Choi said that the findings endorsed the current recommendations for breastfeeding for the benefit of maternal health in mothers' later lives.
It has been well documented that long-term breastfeeding is associated with reduced children's allergies, celiac disease, obesity and diabetes mellitus.
The team analysed 3,119 non-smoking postmenopausal women aged 50 years or older in the 2010-2011.
First, maternal metabolism (e.g., fat accumulation and insulin resistance) may be "reset" by breastfeeding after pregnancy, which decreases the risk of obesity-related diseases.
Second, oxytocin release stimulated by breastfeeding may be associated with the decreased risk of these diseases.
The research appears in the journal of Hypertension....