The researchers found women who breastfed had a 64 percent reduced Alzheimer's risk compared with women who did not.

Cape Town - Four thousand nursing mothers are expected to take part in an attempt in Cape Town on August 8 to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of mothers breast-feeding at the same time.

The mothers are to gather at the Good Hope Centre for a one-day Breastfest arranged by the provincial Department of Health.

The department and the provincial government are working together to try to promote breast-feeding and increase awareness of its benefits.

The world record for the most mothers breast-feeding at the same time is 3 541 and was set in the Philippines in 2006.

The Breastfest is to focus on the benefits of breastfeeding, such as how it can help protect babies from illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, both which are rife in SA.

The Department of Health recommends that infants be breast-fed exclusively up to six months of age and that they continue to be breast-fed, along with being given the appropriate complementary foods, for two years or more, as breast milk provides infants with the nutrients they require for healthy growth and development.

Also on the day, pregnant women and mothers are to be encouraged to sign a pledge that they will breast-feed their infants for at least six months and not give their babies a bottle.

According to Unicef’s State of the World’s Children Report 2011, of the 136.7 million babies born worldwide, only 32.6 percent are breast-fed for the first six months.

Breast-feeding rates in SA are extremely low. A survey by the national Department of Health found only 15 percent of mothers breast-fed exclusively for the first months.

The Breastfest is from 8.30am to 1pm. - Cape Argus