Message #264: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: Breast-Fed Pima Indians Less Prone To Diabetes Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 20:01:35 -0700 [ Message 15 see this also! -- SASIG Ed. ] Breast-fed Pima Indians less prone to diabetes LONDON (Reuter) - U.S. researchers said Friday they had made further connections between bottle-feeding babies and diabetes. Their study in the Lancet medical journal indicated that mothers who breast-feed babies early in life could protect them from non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), the most common form of the disease. David Pettit of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease in Phoenix and colleagues studied 720 Pima Indians, who are prone to obesity and related problems such as diabetes. The 325 who had been exclusively bottle-fed weighed "significantly" more than those who had been breastfed. "People who were exclusively breast-fed had significantly lower rates of NIDDM than those who were exclusively bottle-fed in all age groups. Pettit's group noted that some studies have linked exposure to cow's milk in infancy to a tendency to diabetes. Bottle-fed babies also tend to be overweight -- and obesity is a strong risk factor for diabetes. "Exclusive breast-feeding for the first two months of life is associated with a significantly lower rate of NIDDM in Pima Indians," Pettitt's group concluded. "The increase in prevalence of diabetes in some populations may be due to the concomitant decrease in breast-feeding." But David Simmons of Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand said the study did not necessarily show that bottle-feeding somehow caused diabetes. "Although breast-feeding is now almost universally accepted as the ideal means of infant nutrition, one thing that has become clear is that those who choose to breast-feed are different from those choosing to bottle-feed," he wrote in a commentary on the study. Simmons noted that other studies had shown more affluent women were more likely to breast-feed. "In this cohort, those who wholly breast-fed were initially less likely to be 100 percent Pima and more likely to be from the less acculturated Tohono O'odham tribe, who have a lower prevalence of diabetes than the Pima," he added. "The prevalence of NIDDM in young, relatively normal weight, breast-fed Pimas was still at least 10 to 20 fold that expected among similarly aged and sized Europeans." More study was needed, he concluded.