Breastfed babies brainier

Want a brainy baby? Better choose to breastfeed

IF YOU WANT a brainy baby, breastfeeding is best, insist scientists.

A new survey has discovered that babies fed on their mothers’ milk have an IQ which is, on average, seven points higher than those who are bottle-fed.

Currently in Britain, a fifth of women choose not to breastfeed, while a further third of those who do give up after six months. Campaigners have, therefore, welcomed the new study and hope it will lead to an increase in breastfeeding mums.

As far back as 1929 scientists claimed a child’s IQ could be linked to whether he or she was breastfed or not, however, a study last year by the Medical Research Council claimed that was simply a ‘myth’.

Now though, two new surveys back-up the age-old belief. ‘The argument about intelligence has been about nature versus nurture for at least a century. We’re finding that nature and nurture work together,’ says Professor Terrie Moffitt, from the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

‘Our findings support the idea that the nutritional content of breast milk accounts for the differences seen in human IQ. But it’s not a simple allornone connection: it depends to some extent on the genetic make-up of each infant.’

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