Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kentucky Study Shows Breast-Feeding Increases Babies' IQ

Date:
September 28, 1999
Source:
University Of Kentucky Medical Center
Summary:
Breast-fed babies' IQ is three to five points higher than that of formula-fed babies, according to researchers at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. The findings are published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 22, 1999) - Breast-fed babies' IQ is three to five points higher than that of formula-fed babies, according to researchers at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. The findings are published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

James W. Anderson, M.D., professor of medicine and clinical nutrition in the UK College of Medicine, found that breast-feeding, compared to formula feeding, is associated with significantly higher levels of cognitive development. The difference increases the longer a baby is breast-fed, and low birth weight babies receive the greatest benefits.

"This study confirms that nutrients in breast milk and maternal bonding have beneficial effects on IQ," Anderson said. "Infants deprived of breast milk are likely to have lower IQ, lower educational achievement, and poorer social adjustment than breast-fed infants."

Anderson theorizes that breast milk provides nutrients required for rapid development of the immature brain. Breast milk may support neurological development by provision of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA).

The study was a meta-analysis, which is the critical review and summary of results from many clinical studies and selected characteristics on the same subject.

This is the first study to quantitatively analyze research that has been done on the topic. This type of analysis is important to separate the effects of maternal bonding from the nutrients delivered with breast milk.

Breast-feeding provides two benefits compared to formula feeding - better nutrition and maternal bonding. The nutritional benefits of breast-feeding are associated with at least a 3.2-point difference in cognitive development compared to formula feeding after adjustment for key factors. This increase is in addition to the 2.1 IQ points that appear related to maternal bonding. The enhanced cognitive development was seen as early as 6 months and was sustained through 15 years of age. The longer a baby was breast-fed, the greater the increase in cognitive developmental benefit.

The study included 20 published reports that met the criteria for the meta-analysis. The analysis accounted for such factors as the mother's age and intelligence, birth order, race, birth weight, gestational age, and socioeconomic status.

The brain is 60 percent lipid in content, and DHA and AA are major lipid components of the brain. During pregnancy the mother mobilizes DHA and AA to support brain development. The mother continues to provide this important "brain food" through her milk. Premature infants are extremely vulnerable because they don't benefit from the intrauterine supply of DHA and AA and have no fat stores of these basic long-chain fatty acids.

Infant formulas sold in more than 60 countries, including most of Europe, contain DHA and AA, but they are not found in formulas sold in the United States.

Recent controlled clinical trials document the beneficial effects of DHA provided in infant formulas. In more than 30 clinical trials, DHA and AA supplementation has proven safe. Formula containing DHA is associated with more rapid development of vision acuity than control formulas without DHA. With DHA supplementation, compared to formula without DHA, IQ differences of up to six IQ points have been noted in various studies.

The study was funded in part by Martek Biosciences Corporation, which produces a plant source of DHA and AA for inclusion in formula sold worldwide. Martek's oil manufacturing plant is located in Winchester, Ky.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Kentucky Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Kentucky Medical Center. "Kentucky Study Shows Breast-Feeding Increases Babies' IQ." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990928075022.htm>.
University Of Kentucky Medical Center. (1999, September 28). Kentucky Study Shows Breast-Feeding Increases Babies' IQ. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990928075022.htm
University Of Kentucky Medical Center. "Kentucky Study Shows Breast-Feeding Increases Babies' IQ." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990928075022.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins