Breastfeeding has many benefits, scientists say, but reducing risks of food allergies is not one of them. A new study found no difference in allergy risk between breast fed and bottle fed babies.
The study, which included about 200 children, found that those who were breastfed were no more or less likely to have hay fever, asthma, eczema, or food allergies than were those who were bottle fed. This contradicts previous research which has found the opposite to be true.
The researchers for the study at the University of Chicago, believe that larger studies could answer the question of whether breastfed babies have an advantage in food allergy rates.
Breast is still best.
Although the question of allergies may be up in the air in the breast vs bottle question, on many other fronts, breast is still best, say pediatricians. Breastfeeding helps reduce incidences of stomach bugs, colic, and infections of the chest and ear. Breastfed babies are also less likely to be obese.
Brestfeeding also reduces the odds of ovarian and breast cancers in the mother.