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Autism Speaks Explores Connection Between Breastfeeding and Autism

Autism Speaks, one of the nation's largest autism advocacy and fundraising groups for autistic individuals, addressed a question today that many mothers ask about possible reasons that their children may or may not be autistic: that of breastfeeding.

Autism Speaks: Breastfeeding and Autism Risk

Obviously, breastfeeding has many benefits for a child - the passing of healthy probiotic bacteria and antibodies to help boost the new human's immune system, plenty of healthy fat for the development of the brain, general nutrients for survival, and plenty more.  And the article responsibly mentions this benefit to infant health.

The article goes on to provide a search of PubMed for the many breastfeeding and autism-related studies that have taken place.  And then it very wisely and responsibly mentions that many of these studies do not prove anything, relying more on correlation than causation, pointing out a number of possible variables that could feed into that correlation and making those studies' results less than a stamp of "Yes" or "No."

And finally, the author mentions that such factors as the diet of the mother doing the breastfeeding can be a factor.  If the mother's diet is bad and they're breastfeeding, it only stands to reason that the child's diet will be less than optimal, and the article mentions this as a factor that can contribute to a child's general health, not just their possibility of becoming autistic.

The article says all the right things, for sure.  Encouraging breastfeeding in combination with an improved diet from the mother can only help to ensure that the epigenetic triggers causing autism are kept off.

For more on this topic, it's also recommended to check out Chris Kresser's Healthy Baby Code.

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