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New Study: Breastfeeding for Longer Linked to Higher IQ

New research suggests a link between the amount of time a baby is breastfed and his future intelligence.


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A recent study published in the April issue of The Lancet Global Health found a link between breastfeeding and intelligence.

Researchers from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil conducted a long-term study on 3,500 babies (most of whom were breastfed for less than one month to more than one year) from diverse backgrounds and discovered those breastfed for longer scored higher on IQ tests as adults. They were also more likely to complete more schooling and earn higher wages.

Dr. Bernardo Lessa Horta, one of the researchers, attributes the link to breast milk’s high source of long-chain saturated fatty acids, which promote brain development.

The research’s findings are not conclusive, as many factors could impact a child’s intelligence. However, the results do support the American Academy of Pediatrics’ current recommendation that babies be breastfed for the first six months of life.

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