Longer the breast feeding, smarter the adult
Brain is Where Mother’s Milk is
New Delhi, March 19: A recent study published in The Lancet Global Health suggests sufficiently that mothers’ milk contain seeds of greater intelligence in adulthood.
The study links enhanced IQ in adulthood to prolonged breast feeding. The long chain fatty acids found adequately in mother’s milk firms up the IQ.
The study holds that prolonged breast feeding results into increased intelligence and higher earnings in adulthood.
Lead author Bernardo Lesa Horta from Brazil’s Federal University of Pelotas says, ‘Our study provides the first evidence that prolonged breastfeeding not only increases intelligence until at least the age of 30 years but also has an impact both at an individual and societal level.’
The study takes earlier breast feeding benefits to higher level. Earlier studies only found breast feeding contributes to enhancing brain development and intelligence during childhood. The recent study has established for the first time that these benefits continue till adulthood.
The study followed a group of around 3,500 newborns for 30 years. Nearly 6000 Brazil babies were followed from birth for the past 30 years. 3,500 adults out of them participated in interviews for evaluation and sat for the IQ tests. Those breastfed were found more intelligent, sustaining schools longer and earning more than those denied breast feeding. The longer breastfeeding, smarter the adult, the study found.
The lead author says, ‘The likely mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of breast milk on intelligence is the presence of long-chain saturated fatty acids (DHAs) found in breast milk, which are essential for brain development.’
‘Our finding that predominant breastfeeding is positively related to IQ in adulthood also suggests that the amount of milk consumed plays a role.’ the author adds.