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8 November 2007

Breast-Feeding is Best for a Brainy Baby

Breastfeeding your children for the first few months of life can boost their IQ by seven points, according to new research. The IQ boost works for nine out of ten children, since it is associated with a common but newly-identified "brain boosting" gene.

A link between breast milk and intelligence was first identified in 1929. Research into the subject has been frequently disputed, however, and many have argued that past research failed to take into account the mother's background and other factors.

However, two recent studies indicate that breast milk helps IQ whatever the family background. A New Zealand study looked at IQ tests and DNA samples from more than 1,000 children, and a British study examined more than 2,000 British twins. Both studies found that the IQs of breastfed children were seven points higher, if they had inherited a particular gene.

The gene, FADS2, affects the way that your body processes dietary fatty acids.

Although breastfeeding has become increasingly accepted in recent years, there is still much controversy over breastfeeding in America. Issues range from how long one should breastfeed to where it is acceptable to do. But one issue that needs no further debate is whether it is healthier to breastfeed or formula-feed your baby--overwhelmingly, the answer is breastfeed! What’s more is that breastfeeding is not only good for the baby--it’s good for mom too.

In addition to raising IQ, breastfed infants also receive added protection against:

* Heart disease
* Immune system cancers such as lymphoma
* Bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease
* Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
* Asthma and allergies
* Respiratory infections
* Eczema
* Type 1 and type 2 diabetes


* Daily Mail November 6, 2007

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