A new study, to be published in the May issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, shows that women who breastfed earlier in life had significantly lower rates of high cholsterol, high blood pressure and diabetes later in life. This week The New York Times published this article detailing the results of the study of just under 140,000 women. In speculating to the reporter about whether there is a direct causal link for this, Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the N.Y.U. Women’s Heart Center suggested “it could lie in oxytocin, a hormone crucial to milk production. Oxytocin is known to relax blood vessels, she said, and may make them more flexible and more resistant to the buildup of plaque.”
Yet another reason I have a crush on oxytocin.