You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Breast milk can boost babies' brain function

Cover Media logo Cover Media 03-05-2019
a person sitting on a bed © Provided by Cover Media Ltd

Breast is best has been a long-held belief when it comes to feeding babies, but not all women can get on with it.

Thankfully, formula milk also provides newborn tots with all their dietary needs, meaning women don't have to worry if they choose this method.

However, a new study has once again looked into why breast milk is so good for growing babies, with scientists discovering a mother's milk can boost a child's brain development.

A team from Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC found that breast milk increases the amount of biochemicals that are important for brain growth and development.

Looking at premature babies born between 23 and 32 weeks, as opposed to full term at around the 40-week mark, experts used a non-invasive imaging technique to analyse their brains and detect biomolecules' chemical signatures, finding significantly higher levels of some key biochemicals in breast-fed babies, compared with those given formula milk.

"We're able to capture information about the baby's brain health at a particular point in time," said researcher Dr. Catherine Limperopoulos. "These biochemicals are markers of brain development. For example, higher levels of choline in the brain are associated with improved memory and cognition.

"We can't make that direct link here - we don't have information about memory and cognition in newborns - but our hope is that this is an early marker for improved later intelligence. We'd need to confirm that with our follow-up studies."

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author's own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article. You should consult your physician before starting any weight loss or health management programme to determine if it is right for your needs.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon