Caesarean section and infant formula feeding are associated with an earlier age of onset of multiple sclerosis. Dalla Costa G, Romeo M, Esposito F, Sangalli F, Colombo B, Radaelli M, Moiola L, Comi G, Martinelli V. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2019;33:75-77
Mode of delivery and lactation are among the earliest factors influencing gut microbiota composition and potentially MS risk, but their contribution to MS susceptibility has been controversial. We investigated whether these factors could influence age at MS onset (AAO) on 2055 RRMS patients (mean age 28.4 years). Patients born by means of a caesarean section (10.9%) had an earlier AAO than those born through natural delivery (-5.2 years, p < 0.001). Patients fed with infant formula had an earlier AAO compared to patients breastfed, particularly considering those breastfed for at least 6 months (-4.2 years, p < 0.001). The association of vaginal delivery and natural breastfeeding with a later AAO of MS was particularly apparent in patients without a family history of MS, while disappeared in patients with familiarity for MS. The results suggest these modifiable environmental factors which act at the population level may have an influence on the onset of the disease.
11% of people with MS in this study italy were born by C-section and developed 5 years before people with a vaginal birth and 4 years early if you had formula verses breast milk. So not good news for the current generation”.
Breast milk is not only a completely adapted nutrition source for the newborn but also an impressive array of immune-active molecules that afford protection against infections and shape mucosal immune responses.
Decisive events might be modulated during the first months of life with potential health long-term effects, enhancing the importance of breastfeeding as a major influence on the immune system correct development and modifying disease susceptibility.
It has been reported previously that “Being breastfed was associated with a lower incidence of diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and asthma, explained by the protection against early infections, anti-inflammatory properties, antigen-specific tolerance induction, and regulation of infant’s microbiome.” S0 there are alternative explanations to microbiobiome.
The protective role of human milk in idiopathic juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases remains controversial. On the other hand, the breastfeeding mother faces a health-challenging period in life. High levels of prolactin may lead either to the development of autoimmune diseases in susceptible mothers or exacerbations of current immune-mediated disorders.
What does ProfG make of this?