Research shows link between IQ and breastfeeding


The results of a study conducted in Brazil show that there could be a link between breastfed babies and an improved learning ability as they get older. The long-term research studied almost 3,500 babies from a cross section of families. The results showed that those who had been breastfed the longest had higher IQ scores when they reached adulthood.

The study’s results are fairly unique because breastfeeding was split across the social spectrum, taking in both rich and poor mothers. The majority of children were breastfed for at least some time during their infant years; this period ranged from less than a month to more than a year.

In addition to assessing adult intelligence levels, the study also looked at the participants’ income when they reached 30 and their educational accomplishments.

Benefits of breastfeeding

One of the reasons for this increased intelligence in breastfed babies could be due to the long-chain saturated fatty acids that are found in a mother’s milk. These are an important factor in brain development.

Intelligence influencers

Experts do point to the fact that other factors could also influence children’s early learning abilities and their future intelligence. However, the researchers tried to take out the most important factors, such as birth weight, household income, and parental education.

This is an extremely important piece of research, but this one study alone cannot categorically confirm a link between intelligence and breastfeeding. Further research will be required in the future to analyse this link.

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