Breast milk boosts brain development in babies by up to 30 per cent, according to a new study. Children exclusively fed breast milk for at least three months have up to 30 per cent extra growth in the key parts of the brain which control language, emotion, and understanding, say scientists. The study of under-fours showed development a year and 9 months boy who have breast milk as part of their diet have a clear advantage when it comes to brain development.
Research carried out at Brown University, in the U. We’re finding the difference is in the order of 20 to 30 per cent, comparing the breastfed and the non-breastfed kids. The scans showed that babies fed breast milk alone had the fastest growth in myelinated white matter – tissue packed full of long nerve fibres that link different parts of the brain that are used for learning. The babies who were weaned on a diet of formula were found to have the least white matter. Dr Deoni’s team carried out the study to see how early the changes in brain development took place. We show that they’re there almost right off the bat,’ he said. Researchers looked at the brains of 133 babies who were born on time and came from similar families.