Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

breastfeeding bed x facebook x
Credit: Healthline

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because of her growing weight and rising insulin resistance. But if she breastfeeds, epidemiological studies have shown that the uptick in risk shrinks or disappears.

The mechanisms underlying this lactation perk have been unclear, but Michael German, a biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, hypothesized that the pancreas’s beta cells are involved. “For long-term protection over decades, you have to fundamentally change some part of the mechanism that controls blood sugar,” says German. “The best way to do that is by affecting the beta cell, because it makes the insulin.” Insulin helps glucose enter the body’s cells from the blood. But in type 2 diabetes, cells become insulin resistant and thus less able to absorb enough glucose, forcing the pancreas to make more insulin until it can’t keep up and blood sugar rises.

Related article:  Infographic: How social isolation forced by the coronavirus affects the brain?
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Through a series of knockout experiments in the animals, the team surmised that prolactin, the hormone produced when humans or mice make milk, binds to beta cells and triggers a signaling cascade that results in serotonin production, which then spurs beta cell proliferation and insulin production. In addition, the researchers found that serotonin in lactating mice acts as an antioxidant, helping keep beta cells healthy.

upping production
Lactation stimulates cells in the pituitary gland to produce the hormone prolactin 1, which, in mice, binds to beta cells in the pancreas 2. This leads to a signaling cascade that increases the cell’s production of serotonin 3. Serotonin binds to a separate receptor on the beta cells, stimulating them to proliferate and produce more insulin 4, and also serves as an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. Researchers propose that these mechanisms explain why women who breastfeed their children have reduced long-term risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Credit: Kelly Finan

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend