A study released last week by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that extended breast-feeding seems to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women. "I think our findings are just one more reason to breast-feed, and to breast-feed for as long as a mother can," Karin B. Michels, lead author of the study, told the New York Times. The study found that for each year a women breast-feeds, her risk of developing diabetes is reduced by 15 percent.
Researchers studied two groups of more than 100,000 women each and found that "in both groups the duration of lactation was inversely associated with the risk of Type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women," according to the Times. While the study isn't conclusive, breast-feeding does improve glucose metabolism, which malfunctions in people with diabetes.
Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.