Study suggested that mother who breastfeed had improved pancreatic beta cell mass & function and lower blood glucose (sugar) levels, reducing their risk of diabetes. Which continued after women stopped breastfeeding, lasting for more than three years after they gave birth.
The study included 85 women who breastfed and 99 who did not. They were assessed two months after giving birth and each year after that for at least three years.
Researchers noticed that the milk-secreting hormone “prolactin” in breastfeeding mothers not only promotes milk production, but also stimulates insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells that regulate blood glucose.
“Serotonin” — a chemical that contributes to well-being and happiness — is produced in pancreatic beta cells during breastfeeding, study reported. Serotonin in pancreatic beta cells act as an antioxidant and reduce oxidative stress, making mothers’ beta cells healthier. It also induces the proliferation of beta cells, thereby increasing the beta cell mass and helping maintain proper glucose levels.