Tags: breast-feeding | childhood development | IQ | JAMA

Breast-Feeding Improves IQ

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Friday, 26 Dec 2014 12:43 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Advocates of breast-feeding often cite health benefits such as bolstering the baby’s immune system, strengthening the emotional bond between mother and infant, limiting allergic reactions, and protecting the child against obesity.
 
Public health officials note that 75 percent of mothers start out nursing their infants, but that the rate drops to 25 percent by the first birthday.
 
While previous research has demonstrated a connection between IQ and breast-feeding, a new, large-scale study now tightens the link. The investigation was published in a 2013 issue of JAMA, the official journal of the American Medical Association, and included 1,312 babies and mothers who were followed for an 11-year period.
 
The researchers reported that children nursing for at least a year understood language better than those who were formula-fed. By age 7, the breast-fed kids scored higher on verbal and nonverbal questions.
 
A year of breast-feeding led to a four-point increase in IQ — not bad considering that the average IQ score is 100.
 
The reason breast-feeding boosts IQ is unclear, but it could relate to nutrients in breast milk that are not available elsewhere.
 
The emotional bond between mother and infant resulting from nursing may also contribute to brain health and increased intelligence.

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Advocates of breast-feeding often cite health benefits such as bolstering the baby’s immune system, strengthening the emotional bond between mother and infant, limiting allergic reactions, and protecting the child against obesity.
breast-feeding, childhood development, IQ, JAMA
200
2014-43-26
Friday, 26 Dec 2014 12:43 PM
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