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Maternal Milk Consumption Linked to Taller Children

Update Date: Sep 04, 2013 02:59 PM EDT

Mothers who drink milk during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to taller children, according to new research.

Scientists followed a group of babies born in the late eighties and found that their height during adolescence correlated with how much milk their mothers drank when they were in the womb.

Researchers have long known that maternal milk intake promotes growth in newborn babies.  However, the latest findings suggest that the benefits of milk consumption during pregnancy last long after birth and into adulthood.

The latest study involved babies born to 809 women in Denmark in 1988 and 1989.  Researchers looked at how much milk the mothers had consumed during the pregnancy.

Researchers looked at the children's weight and height at birth and again 20 years later. Researchers found that teenagers of both sexes were on average taller if their mothers had consumed more than 150 milliliters a day during the pregnancy, compared to children born to women who drank less than that amount. Children of mothers who consumed more milk during pregnancy also had higher levels of insulin in their bloodstream.  Researchers say this may mean that children are less at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"Maternal milk consumption may have a growth-promoting effect with respect to weight and length at birth," researchers wrote in the study, according to Daily Mail.

"These results also provide some suggestion that this effect may even track into early adult age," they added.

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