Breastfeeding Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk of Moms

Women can cut their risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 50 percent simply by breastfeeding for a year or longer, according to a study conducted by researchers from Malmo University Hospital in Sweden, and published in the “Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.”

Scientists have wondered whether breastfeeding might affect the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, because it stimulates the production of two hormones that may have some connection to the disease. While it raises levels of oxytocin – which has been linked with lowered blood pressure and stress hormone levels and general well-being – it also raises levels of prolactin, which stimulates the immune system.

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