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 October 23, 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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