Breastfeeding does not protect children against developing asthma or allergies

Ottawa (September 11, 2007) – Breastfeeding does not protect children against developing asthma or allergies. These are the results of a trial funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and led by Dr. Michael Kramer, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. The findings were published today on BMJ Online First (

“The results of our trial underline the importance of seeking other explanations for the recent epidemic of allergy and asthma“, said Dr. Kramer, who is also the James McGill Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill. 

The Promotion of the Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT) followed 13,889 children at age 6.5 years from December 2002 to April 2005 in 31 Belarussian maternity hospitals and their affiliated polyclinics.   

PROBIT was led by Dr. Michael Kramer in collaboration with Drs. Robert Platt and Bruce Mazer from McGill University and colleagues from the Belarussian Maternal and Child Health Research Institute. 

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s agency for health research. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

David Coulombe, CIHR Media Specialist
Tel.: (613) 941-4563