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Breastfeeding Makes Kids Smarter

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 11:18

Breast-fed babies' IQ is higher than that of formula-fed babies, according to a meta-analysis of 20 articles.

After adjusting for factors that may influence intellect, including the mother's age and intelligence, birth order, race, birth weight, gestational age and socioeconomic status, the study found that breastfeeding may raise a child's IQ by more than five. The enhanced cognitive development was evident as early as six months and was sustained through age 15. A dose-response relationship was demonstrated between duration of breastfeeding and cognitive benefit.

What accounts for breast milk's brain boosting power? According to experts, nutrients present in breast milk may have a significant effect on neurologic development in premature and term infants.
Anderson JW, Johnstone BM, Remley DT.   Breast-feeding and cognitive development: a meta-analysis   Am J Clin Nutr 1999 (Oct);   70 (4):   525-535