The Breast is Best

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Is it prolonged formula feeding to less breast milk which is operative here?


Study Sees Link Between Prolonged Formula Feeding, Leukemia Risk

But the research only uncovered an association, it didn’t prove cause and effect

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — When the introduction to solid foods is delayed and babies are fed formula for a prolonged period of time, it may place them at increased risk for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a new study suggests.

But the study, which is considered preliminary, only found an association between prolonged bottle feeding and ALL;  it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ALL is a fast-growing cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes. It is also the most common acute childhood leukemia, typically affecting children between the ages of 3 and 7.

In the new study, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found that children’s risk for this cancer seemed to increase the longer they were fed formula and not solid foods. They said the benefits that breast milk has on babies’ developing immune systems may help explain their findings.

The study was scheduled to be presented Wednesday at the annual cancer prevention conference of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Anaheim, Calif.

“For every month that a child was fed formula, taking into account other feeding practices, we found that the risk for this type of cancer was higher,” explained Jeremy Schraw, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin in an AACR news release. “If a baby is fed only formula, he or she will not be getting any immune factors from the mother, which could be leading to this greater risk.

In conducting the study, the researchers surveyed 142 ethnically diverse children with ALL and 284 similar children who did not have this disease. They found the children diagnosed with ALL began eating solid foods much later than those who did not have this form of cancer. A greater number of children with ALL were also fed formula for a prolonged period of time and had mothers who smoked during their pregnancy, the study said.

The study showed that for each additional month of formula feeding, the children’s risk of cancer increased by 16 percent.

SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, news release, Oct. 17, 2012


Print Friendly
Filed in: Cancer, Corrective Foods

Recent Posts

© 2015 WeeksMD. All rights reserved.


The information contained on these web pages is derived from Dr. Weeks’ years of clinical experience and his review of scientific literature. However, these ideas and information are for your education and entertainment only. They are positively not intended to be a substitute for careful medical evaluation and treatment by a competent, licensed personal health care professional. Dr. Weeks and his associates do not recommend changing any current medications or adding any new therapies without personally consulting a fully qualified physician. Dr. Weeks and his staff specifically disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from information contained on these Web pages.

Varying and even conflicting views are held by other segments of the medical profession. The information presented on these Web pages is intended to be educational and entertaining in nature and is not intended as a basis for diagnosis or treatment. This information is current at the time of posting on the World Wide Web, and is published and distributed as a courtesy to the public.