Reuters Health of July 31, 2002 posted an article reporting on the results of a study conducted at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth Australia. In the study researchers studied more than 2,600 infants from preterm to age 6 years. The results were published in the July 2002 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The results showed that the risk of childhood asthma increased by 28% if exclusive breast-feeding was stopped and other milk was introduced before the infant was 4 months old.
Chief researcher, Dr. Wendy H. Oddy stated, "Among many other health benefits, breast-feeding provides protection against infection through defense agents in the milk." She continued, "Given our findings, we continue to recommend that infants with or without a maternal history of asthma be exclusively breast-fed for 4 months and beyond."
The Reuters article also stated, "In general, breast-feeding is the best nutrition for infants. It is full of beneficial hormones, enzymes and growth factors, and reduces infections, respiratory illness and diarrhea in babies."