Longer breast feeding leads to higher IQs and earning ability

Longer breast feeding leads to higher IQs and earning ability
Longer breast feeding leads to higher IQs and earning ability

One way for parents to help nurture bright kids who will be able to earn a lot of money may be to breast feed them for a long time. The Lancet reported, that longer duration of breastfeeding is associated with increased intelligence as adults, longer schooling, and increased adult earnings.

Dr Bernardo Lessa Horta from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil says that the positive effect of breastfeeding on brain development and child intelligence has been well established. However, it has not been clear if these effects persist into adulthood. Dr Horta has also said this new study offers the first evidence that prolonged breastfeeding increases intelligence until at least the age of 30 years while also improving educational attainment and the ability to earn money.

The researchers observed increased adult intelligence, longer schooling, and higher adult earnings in association with all duration levels of breastfeeding. They also observed that the longer a child was breastfed for up to 12 months, the greater the magnitude of the benefits. It is the opinion of Dr Horta that the likely mechanism which accounts for the beneficial effects of breast milk on intelligence is the presence of long-chain saturated fatty acids (DHAs) which are found in breast milk. DHAs are essential for healthy brain development.

This study has been published in The Lancet Global Health. The researchers found that breastfeeding is associated with improved performance in intelligence tests 30 years later. This may result in increased educational attainment and income into adult life. It appears longer duration of breast feeding is associated with higher IQs and that the amount of milk consumed may play a role. Breast feeding certainly seems to have great benefits for kids throughout their lives which goes even further than the bonding which it helps to develop between the mother and child.


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