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Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence.
Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 88(2):305-14AJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Earlier studies have suggested that infant feeding may program long-term changes in cholesterol metabolism.

OBJECTIVE

We aimed to examine whether breastfeeding is associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in adulthood.

DESIGN

The study consisted of a systematic review of published observational studies relating initial infant feeding status to blood cholesterol concentrations in adulthood (ie, aged >16 y). Data were available from 17 studies (17 498 subjects; 12 890 breastfed, 4608 formula-fed). Mean differences in total cholesterol concentrations (breastfed minus formula-fed) were pooled by using fixed-effect models. Effects of adjustment (for age at outcome, socioeconomic position, body mass index, and smoking status) and exclusion (of nonexclusive breast feeders) were examined.

RESULTS

Mean total blood cholesterol was lower (P = 0.037) among those ever breastfed than among those fed formula milk (mean difference: -0.04 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.08, 0.00 mmol/L). The difference in cholesterol between infant feeding groups was larger (P = 0.005) and more consistent in 7 studies that analyzed "exclusive" feeding patterns (-0.15 mmol/L; -0.23, -0.06 mmol/L) than in 10 studies that analyzed nonexclusive feeding patterns (-0.01 mmol/L; -0.06, 0.03 mmol/L). Adjustment for potential confounders including socioeconomic position, body mass index, and smoking status in adult life had minimal effect on these estimates.

CONCLUSIONS

Initial breastfeeding (particularly when exclusive) may be associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in later life. Moves to reduce the cholesterol content of formula feeds below those of breast milk should be treated with caution.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Community Health Sciences, St George's, University of London, London, United Kingdom. cowen@sgul.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18689365

Citation

Owen, Christopher G., et al. "Does Initial Breastfeeding Lead to Lower Blood Cholesterol in Adult Life? a Quantitative Review of the Evidence." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 88, no. 2, 2008, pp. 305-14.
Owen CG, Whincup PH, Kaye SJ, et al. Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88(2):305-14.
Owen, C. G., Whincup, P. H., Kaye, S. J., Martin, R. M., Davey Smith, G., Cook, D. G., ... Williams, S. M. (2008). Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88(2), pp. 305-14.
Owen CG, et al. Does Initial Breastfeeding Lead to Lower Blood Cholesterol in Adult Life? a Quantitative Review of the Evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88(2):305-14. PubMed PMID: 18689365.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence. AU - Owen,Christopher G, AU - Whincup,Peter H, AU - Kaye,Samantha J, AU - Martin,Richard M, AU - Davey Smith,George, AU - Cook,Derek G, AU - Bergstrom,Erik, AU - Black,Stephanie, AU - Wadsworth,Michael E J, AU - Fall,Caroline H, AU - Freudenheim,Jo L, AU - Nie,Jing, AU - Huxley,Rachel R, AU - Kolacek,Sanja, AU - Leeson,C Paul, AU - Pearce,Mark S, AU - Raitakari,Olli T, AU - Lisinen,Irina, AU - Viikari,Jorma S, AU - Ravelli,Anita C, AU - Rudnicka,Alicja R, AU - Strachan,David P, AU - Williams,Sheila M, PY - 2008/8/12/pubmed PY - 2008/9/16/medline PY - 2008/8/12/entrez SP - 305 EP - 14 JF - The American journal of clinical nutrition JO - Am. J. Clin. Nutr. VL - 88 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Earlier studies have suggested that infant feeding may program long-term changes in cholesterol metabolism. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine whether breastfeeding is associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in adulthood. DESIGN: The study consisted of a systematic review of published observational studies relating initial infant feeding status to blood cholesterol concentrations in adulthood (ie, aged >16 y). Data were available from 17 studies (17 498 subjects; 12 890 breastfed, 4608 formula-fed). Mean differences in total cholesterol concentrations (breastfed minus formula-fed) were pooled by using fixed-effect models. Effects of adjustment (for age at outcome, socioeconomic position, body mass index, and smoking status) and exclusion (of nonexclusive breast feeders) were examined. RESULTS: Mean total blood cholesterol was lower (P = 0.037) among those ever breastfed than among those fed formula milk (mean difference: -0.04 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.08, 0.00 mmol/L). The difference in cholesterol between infant feeding groups was larger (P = 0.005) and more consistent in 7 studies that analyzed "exclusive" feeding patterns (-0.15 mmol/L; -0.23, -0.06 mmol/L) than in 10 studies that analyzed nonexclusive feeding patterns (-0.01 mmol/L; -0.06, 0.03 mmol/L). Adjustment for potential confounders including socioeconomic position, body mass index, and smoking status in adult life had minimal effect on these estimates. CONCLUSIONS: Initial breastfeeding (particularly when exclusive) may be associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in later life. Moves to reduce the cholesterol content of formula feeds below those of breast milk should be treated with caution. SN - 1938-3207 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18689365/Does_initial_breastfeeding_lead_to_lower_blood_cholesterol_in_adult_life_A_quantitative_review_of_the_evidence_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ajcn/88.2.305 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -