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Breastfeeding Protects Babies From Celiac Disease

Four years ago, I warned you how untreated celiac disease can make life miserable and potentially very dangerous for expectant moms and their babies. Based on a review of 15 studies and more than 4,000 children, mothers who breastfeed their babies may protect them from developing celiac disease.

In fact, as mothers breastfeed their babies longer, the better chance they have of avoiding celiac disease altogether, researchers said.

Although scientists aren't sure how or if breast feeding provides permanent protection or merely delays it, doing so cut a baby's risk of suffering from celiac disease by 52 percent.

Not surprisingly, among their suspicions: Reducing a baby's exposure to gluten.

Archives of Disease in Childhood November 15, 2005

MSNBC November 15, 2005

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