Science says if you were breastfed you might live longer
Whether you were breastfed or not, you’re definitely going to want to hear this. New studies suggest that if you were breastfed, you just might live a little longer than your non-breastfed counterparts. Are we the only ones super-quickly texting our parents to find out if we were breastfed?! Like, woah.
The basics you need to know.
The research, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on July 20th of this year, found that children who were exclusively breastfed as children appear to have longer telomeres (which are, according to T.A Sciences, “the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces,” which leads to a longer life.
The ~science~ of it all.
Telomeres are a part of DNA that protects genes from damage and can have an impact on how long we live. The children who were studied who consumed nothing but breastmilk for the first four to six weeks of their lives had longer telomeres than formula-only, and way longer telomeres than children who grew up on sugary drinks like juice and soda as toddlers.
But there’s a flaw in the study.
You know how science isn’t perfect? Well the researchers weren’t 100% sure if breastfeeding was what made telomeres longer, or if the babies who born with longer telomeres were just tiny superheroes when it came to successful breastfeeding.
So don’t freak out!
Choosing to breastfeed or not is a totally personal decision, and we’re totally not here for shaming parents who pick either side. At the end of the day, as long as parents are doing their research and figuring out what works for them, we support their decisions.