Breast-Feeding May Lower Cholesterol in Adulthood

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Breast-feeding may program fat metabolism later in life, resulting in lower blood cholesterol levels and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report in the September 2002 issue of Pediatrics. Researchers studied more than 1500 adolescents aged 13 to 16 years and reviewed studies involving comparisons of cholesterol levels in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. They found that breast-feeding in the first 3 months of life affects cholesterol differently at different stages of life. Breast-feeding is associated with high levels of cholesterol in infancy but does not appear to affect cholesterol in childhood and adolescence. In contrast, breast-feeding is associated with lower cholesterol levels in adulthood.