5 years ago

Breastfeeding as the sole source of milk for 6 months and adolescent bone mineral density

M. Reyes, S. Gahagan, E. Blanco, B. Lozoff, R. Burrows, C. Albala



Little is known regarding the relationship between early life factors and bone mineral density (BMD). We found a positive association between breastfeeding for at least 6 months, without formula supplementation, and whole body adolescent BMD z-score.


The aim of the study is to assess the role of breastfeeding BF on adolescent bone mineral density (BMD) in a cohort prospectively followed since infancy.


We studied 679 participants from an infancy iron deficiency anemia preventive trial in Santiago, Chile, followed to adolescence. Breast and bottle feeding were ascertained weekly from 4 to 12 months. At 16 years, whole body BMD was assessed by DEXA. Using linear regression, we evaluated associations between BF duration and BF as the sole source of milk and adolescent BMD z-score, adjusting for possible infancy, adolescent, and background confounders.


Mean birth weight and length were 3.5 (0.3) kg and 50.7 (1.6) cm. For at least 6 months, BF was the sole source of milk for 26.3% and with supplementation for 36.7%. For 37%, BF was provided for less than 6 months. Mean 16-year BMD z-score was 0.25 (1.0). Covariates included male sex, birth length, and gestational age. BF as the sole source of milk ≥6 months, compared to BF < 6 months, was associated with higher adolescent BMD z-score adjusting for covariates (β = 0.29, p < 0.05). Mixed BF was not significantly related to adolescent BMD z-score (β = 0.06, p = 0.47). For every 30 days of BF as the sole source of milk, adolescent BMD z-score increased by 0.03 (p = 0.01).


BF without formula supplementation for at least 6 months was associated with higher adolescent BMD z-score and a suggestive trend in the same direction for BMD suggests that exclusivity and duration of BF may play a role in adolescent bone health.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-017-4106-0

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-017-4106-0

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.