Mom's Milk Protects Against Alcoholism

A new study shows that early weaning may lead to alcohol abuse later in life.


Early weaning may lead to alcohol abuse later in life, especially in boys, according to a Danish study of people born between 1959 and 1961. Of the study's 6,562 subjects, 138 were hospitalized for alcoholism, including twice as many men as women. Those who'd been breastfed for less than one month were nearly one and a half times more likely to have alcohol-related problems as those who nursed longer. The researchers suspect mother's milk contains nutrients that fuel brain development and protect against low intelligence and other deficits which might foreshadow alcohol dependence. "Breast milk is best for reaching peak intelligence and adding insurance against addiction," says study co-author June Reinisch, Ph.D., director emeritus at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Ind. She recommends breastfeeding for nine months.