Cretan babies breastfed for six months 'significantly healthier' than infants fed on formula feeds (?)
I don't know enough about life on Crete (or how well Cretan mothers use formula) to comment on possible social influences but the results are odd (the babies had to be EXCLUSIVELY breastfed to get any benefits?) and the fact that only 91 out of nearly 1,000 babies were exclusively breastfed after 6 months suggests that the 91 mothers concerned may be deviant from the population norm in other ways -- perhaps exhibiting an unusually high level of care for the health of their infants. So the benefit observed cannot with certainty be ascribed to the breastfeeding itself.
I can also see no evidence of an attempt to exclude experimenter expectation effects
Breastfeeding children for six months can ward off common infections during infancy, further evidence suggests. The findings showed babies brought up exclusively on their mother's milk were significantly more healthy than those given substitute formula feeds.
But the study found the positive effects - fewer and less severe infections - were not felt by children who were only partially breastfed.
Researchers from the University of Crete monitored the health of just under 1,000 infants for a period of 12 months. They recorded any common infections they had at one, three, six, nine and 12 months, which included respiratory and urinary infections, ear infections, stomach upsets, conjunctivitis and thrush.
The infants, drawn from a total of 6,878 births in 2004 in Crete, were routinely vaccinated and had access to a high standard of healthcare.
Researchers found the longer an infant was exclusively breastfed - with no substitute formula feeds - the lower the rate of infection. Any infections they did pick up were less severe than those experienced by their peers who were either partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.
Factors such as parental age and education, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, ethnicity and number of siblings influenced the frequency of infections, the findings showed.
Meanwhile, researchers concluded that antibodies passed on through the mother's milk, as well as nutritional and immunological factors, accounted for some of the differences observed.
In an article which appears in the BMJ's Archives of Disease in Childhood they conclude: 'Exclusive breastfeeding helps protect infants against common infections and lessens the frequency and severity of infectious episode not only in developing countries but also in communities with adequate vaccination coverage and healthcare standards.'
Janet Fyle, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said the findings were further evidence of the 'many benefits of breastfeeding'. 'We know that breastfeeding is the default method of infant feeding for babies; good for mothers and good for the health of the nation,' she said. 'That is why we need to continue our efforts to ensure that we maintain a high rate of breastfeeding in the UK, particularly among those women with low rates.'
But she said more needed to be done to tackle the perceived "stigma" attached to breastfeeding. 'As a nation we need to look at the issues that militate against mothers breastfeeding for longer, such as the workplace, and facilities for mothers to breastfeed when they are out and about,' she added.
'The UK needs to see breastfeeding as a normal process, and to move away from some of the outdated and negative stigma that is depressingly still attached to it, specifically breastfeeding in public.'
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), human milk is the most suitable food for newborn and young infants and exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life is recommended.
Objective: To prospectively investigate the effects of breastfeeding on the frequency and severity of infections in a well-defined infant population with adequate vaccination coverage and healthcare standards.
Study design: In a representative sample of 926 infants, successfully followed up for 12 months, feeding mode and all infectious episodes, including acute otitis media (AOM), acute respiratory infection (ARI), gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection, conjunctivitis and thrush, were recorded at 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of life.
Results: Infants exclusively breastfed for 6 months, as per WHO recommendations, presented with fewer infectious episodes than their partially breastfed or non-breastfed peers and this protective effect persisted after adjustment for potential confounders for ARI (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.92), AOM (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.13 to 1.05) and thrush (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02 to 1.02). Prolonged exclusive breastfeeding was associated with fewer infectious episodes (rs=0.07, p=0.019) and fewer admissions to hospital for infection (rs=0.06, p=0.037) in the first year of life. Partial breastfeeding was not related to protective effect. Several confounding factors, including parental age and education, ethnicity, presence of other siblings, environmental tobacco smoke exposure and season of birth were demonstrated to have an effect on frequency of infections during infancy.
Conclusions: Findings from this large-scale prospective study in a well-defined infant population with adequate healthcare standards suggest that exclusive breastfeeding contributes to protection against common infections during infancy regarding and lessens the frequency and severity of infectious episodes. Partial breastfeeding did not seem to provide this protective effect.
From: "Protective effect of exclusive breastfeeding against infections during infancy: a prospective study"
The supplier should do a long stretch in jail but don't hold your breath. I don't have much sympathy with the customers though. Anybody gullible enough to believe the claims will probably have a short lifespan anyway
Government health watchdogs have issued an urgent warning about a 'miracle' health drink that contains industrial strength BLEACH.
Hundreds of thousands of bottles of 'Miracle Mineral Solution' have been sold worldwide after makers claimed it cured illnesses including cancer and malaria. But its desperate users have suffered agonising bouts of nausea and diarrhoea after taking just a few drops of the fluid.
Shockingly, the health drink contains 28 per cent sodium chlorite solution - the equivalent to industrial strength bleach and six times the amount in a bottle of Domestos.
The Food Standards Agency has now warned people who have bought the drink to throw it away after Trading Standards received a deluge of complaints. A spokesperson said: 'If you look at a bottle of Domestos that's just 4.5 per cent sodium chlorite.
'The simple fact is not how this solution is taken but that you just shouldn't be drinking bleach full stop. 'We were alerted to the solution after a local authority received a complaint from somebody who had drank it. 'Sodium Chlorite is bleach. Bleach is not on the approved list of foods and it shouldn't be sold as a food supplement.'
Miracle Mineral Solution is sold over the internet by a man who gives his name as 'Jim Humble'. A bottle of the liquid costs 21.98 in American dollars and users must mix it with citric acid. Makers of the liquid claim that the solution can cure a range of illnesses including Hepatitis, cancer, Crohns disease, the flu herpes and TB.
But side-effects include severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, dehydration and reduced blood pressure. If the solution is taken in large enough doses the sodium chlorite could be fatal. It is the equivalent of drinking industrial strength bleach.
An FSA spokesperson added: 'If you have any of this product you should throw it away. If you have consumed MMS and feel unwell you should consult your doctor. 'If the solution is diluted less than instructed, it could cause damage to the gut and red blood cells, potentially resulting in respiratory failure.
'If you are aware of MMS being sold in retail outlets, you should contact your local authority trading standards department.'
Nobody from Miracle Mineral Solutions was available for comment.