[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 19, 1988

Beer, Breast-feeding, and the Wisdom of Old Wives

Author Affiliations

Berkeley, Calif

Berkeley, Calif

JAMA. 1988;259(7):1016. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720070022026

To the Editor.  —In the Oct 16, 1987, issue of JAMA,1 a physician asks if there is any scientific basis for the use of beer by lactating women as a stimulant to milk production. The four consultants agree that there is no such evidence, apparently having overlooked two pertinent studies. De Rosa et al2 gave equal amounts of beer and ethanol to 11 normal women and showed significant increases in serum prolactin from mean basal levels of 11.6 ng/mL to mean peak levels of 27.1 ng/mL within 30 minutes of drinking 1 L of 6% ethanol-containing beer. There was no significant change after drinking 6% ethanol solution or sparkling water. Carlson et al3 gave 800 mL of beer that contained 4.5% ethanol to five men and seven women and an equal amount of nonalcoholic beer to one woman. In men, the prolactin levels increased from a mean