Study shows breast feeding can reduce your BABY’s risk of cancer

A new study published April 2012 from the Journal of Human Lactation shows cancer fighting substances in breast milk.

Breast feeding helps both mom and baby from getting cancer....but pick a more...dimly lit place.

I realize this is a stretch for the subject matter, but being a strong supporter of breast feeding (for many reasons, but one is that is reduces the mom’s risk of breast cancer) I found this newly published study from the Journal of Human Lactation very interesting.  This study was also reported in a similar study done in 1995. (In this 1995 study, they were studying the effect of human milk on bacteria in human lung cancer, and to their surprise, the human milk killed the cancer cells instead)

Simply, the enzyme , TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand) was measured in breast milk at day 1 and day 5 after delivery.  This enzyme controls apoptosis, the method by which the body kills unneeded cells.  When your body can’t control the proliferation of cell production, that’ the definition of cancer (tumor growth).

TRAIL was found in levels 400 and 100 times higher than in normal human serum, giving breast-fed babies the advantage of this cancer fighting enzyme.  Formula does not contain TRAIL.

When I read something like this it always makes me think of the rate of cancer today and how much it has increased in the past 40 years.  I am not suggesting that this has to do with the breast feeding rates, however, my belief is that cancer is like the pot in the game “Don’t Spill the Beans” where players place beans on a pot and when the pot gets too full, the beans spill out.

source CDC

It’s not just “one thing” that causes cancer, but things that “pile onto the pot” until that “one thing” causes the pot to spill, and the cancer cells to grow.

I found it interesting that from 1955 (when data started to be collected on such matters) to 1976, the breast feeding rates were the lowest.   Only around 20% of all mothers breast-fed (mainly because of government and manufacturer’s propaganda…my opinion for what it’s worth) Those people would be 36 – 57 years old today.

Does it have an impact on adult cancer rates? Don’t know.  I could find no data on incidence of breast fed vs bottle fed adult cancer rates.

The purpose of this post is to present information.  I don’t wish to get into the “breast-fed/bottle-fed debate”.  I understand this is a personal choice and there are factors which dictate that choice.

I am more thinking along the lines of isolating this enzyme and using it as a weapon.  Adding it to the Starbuck’s menu…..it even sounds good….“I’ll have a venti TRAIL latte please….with two shots of espresso.” 



Categories: breast cancer, cancer, health, health and wellness, healthy living blogs, women's health

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Interesting post … although, why not saying, instead of “breastfeeding can REDUCE your baby’s risk of cancer”, something like this “formual feeding can INCREASE your baby’s risk of cancer”. After all, it’s all about where your point of comparison is. I do not know of the worldwide figures of number of breastfed babies vs formula-fed babies, but as far as I understood, breastmilk is the default choice for feeding a baby (meaning “as intended by nature”). So, it would make more sense to say that the babies who are not fed the physiological way are more at risk to get cancer … Although you could argue that if the norm becomes the formula feeding, than you can use this group as a “control” group, but then it would be a bit sad for all the mothers who breastfeed because it sounds just so … normal.

    • Your logical thinking is crazy good. I want to just stay out of arguing this one because it is such a heated topic (mom’s hate to be told they are wrong when it comes to caring for their kids. I learned this when I tried to tell a mom that her baby was still getting second hand smoke by her smoking in the car sitting next to the baby even though she cracked her window 1/2 inch and held the cigarette next to the crack. She insisted the baby was fine and nearly bit my head off …after she finished her cigarette of course)

  2. I’ve heard about this. I wonder if you study the number of mothers who breast feed in different countries and the figure for the breast cancer rate in the same countries would show any relevance. I’m breast feeding right now. I do it for a selfish reason… It burns calorie whose help I need to lose the pregnancy weight…. Women who lose weight after giving birth without breastfeeding are amazing.

  3. Intriguing post. Love the way your inquisitive brain works. An R&D company needs to snap you up and let you both profit from your wealth of ideas. Anyway, too bad our TRAIL ends when weaning begins. I know someone who breast-fed her son for an extraordinarily long time (off and on up to five years!). I wonder how he will turn out (other than possibly confused in his romantic relationships!)…

    • Well that’s what my inquisitive brain wants to know…does there have to be an end to the TRAIL? It surprised me to find a very similar study that was done in 1995..and I am wondering why something like this was not followed or researched further….maybe no funding.
      Thanks as always for your interest in my posts as I value your opinion!

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