Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Alcohol consumption disrupts breastfeeding hormones

06.04.2005


Contrary to popular belief, a ’few drinks’ do not promote optimal lactation



Despite age-old claims advising breastfeeding moms that alcoholic beverages can improve their nursing performance, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report that even moderate doses of alcohol affect the hormones responsible for lactation in a counterproductive manner.

"This information is important for women," comments lead author Julie Mennella, PhD, a biopsychologist. "If a mother is drinking alcohol just to improve the quality or quantity of her milk, she needs to know that there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, what happens is quite the opposite, as alcohol disrupts the hormonal milieu of lactation in a way that could impede successful breastfeeding."


For centuries, breastfeeding women have been advised to drink alcohol as an aid to milk production and optimal lactation. Recent surveys indicate that 25% of women report being encouraged by their health professionals to drink alcohol while breastfeeding. But as Mennella points out, "There was no valid scientific evidence to support this claim."

To address this research deficit, the current study, reported in the April 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, is the first to analyze the effects of alcohol on lactational hormones of women who are breastfeeding.

Subjects were 17 women who were nursing infants between 2 and 4 months of age. While in a controlled clinical setting away from their infants, each woman drank a beverage containing alcohol in orange juice on one day and plain orange juice on a different day. The dose of alcohol was equivalent to that found in one to two glasses of wine. After consuming the beverages, the women used electric breast pumps to stimulate lactation. Blood samples taken throughout the procedure were analyzed for oxytocin and prolactin, the two key hormones that control lactation.

Alcohol disrupted release of both hormones during lactation: oxytocin levels decreased an average of 78% and prolactin levels increased by 336%, as compared to when women consumed plain orange juice. Study co-author Yanina Pepino, PhD, a Monell developmental psychobiologist, explains the implications, "Under normal breastfeeding conditions, oxytocin and prolactin usually behave in tandem, such that sucking-induced breast stimulation results in transient release of both. However, following alcohol consumption we saw divergent responses in these two key hormones that control lactation."

After consuming alcohol, women took longer to eject the first drop of milk and produced less milk overall, physiological effects related to the alcohol-induced changes in oxytocin.

The current research provides a physiological basis for Mennella’s previous findings concerning alcohol’s effect on breastfeeding. Those studies indicated that infants ingest less milk at the breast in the hours following maternal alcohol consumption, in part due to decreased maternal milk production.

Mennella notes, "It’s important for women to realize that these data should not frighten them away from breastfeeding. Unlike the situation during pregnancy, when alcohol consumed at any time is always passed onto the fetus, a lactating woman who drinks occasionally can wait a few hours after she stops drinking to breastfeed so that her infant is not exposed to the alcohol in her milk. However, she needs to be aware that the hormones underlying lactation and her milk production will be affected in the short term."

Julie Mennella, PhD | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.monell.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid water formation in diffuse interstellar clouds

25.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Using tree-fall patterns to calculate tornado wind speed

25.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

25.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>