There’s yet another great reason to breastfeed say researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. According to the researchers findings, babies who have a low birth weight and babies who never breastfeed, or who breastfeed for fewer than three months, are more at risk for chronic inflammation that can contribute to heart disease and metabolic disorders in adulthood. Researchers have known for a while that high blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are a key predictor of increased cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk in adulthood, but thus far no one is quite sure what factors influence inflammation. This study however, may link CRP to a lack of breast milk. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), the researchers evaluated levels of CRP in nearly 7,000 young adults ages 24 to 32, along with their birth weights and how long they were breastfed. The analysis showed that young adults who had low birth weights and/or less breast milk as babies, were more likely to have higher CRP levels, but CRP levels were 20-30% lower in young adults who breastfed for 3-12 months. So, if you were looking for another reason to get on board with breastfeeding, consider how it may affect your child’s health far into the future. If you need breastfeeding support, check out these resources.

RELATED | 30 Baby Formulas Found to Contain High Levels of Aluminum

+ Breastfeeding may protect against inflammation and heart disease in young adulthood

Lead Image via Shutterstock