I thought this study was very interesting. In a nutshell, the study concluded that children breastfed exclusively for at least 4 months, had greater lung capacity and airflow than those children who were bottle fed. The study surveyed 1033 10 year olds, in 3 different groups. One was exclusively breastfed, the other exclusively bottle fed and the last group a mix of breast and bottle.
The greatest benefit was among those who were breastfed the longest and no benefits was shown for those breastfed less than 4 months.
The interesting part is the benefit is not believed to be from the breastmilk, but from the act of suckling since it takes more effort to extract milk from the breast than the bottle.
“The physical exercise caused by suckling at the breast – about six times daily on average for more than 4 months — may result in increased lung capacity and increased airflow in breast-fed children compared with bottle-fed children,” Dr. Ikechukwu U. Ogbuanu told Reuters Health.
Read the entire article here.