Document Detail

Breastfeeding and brain development.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11236723     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although biochemical evidence seems to support the fact that more DHA is incorporated into the brain of breastfed infants compared with formula-fed infants, whether the levels of DHA in the brain are clinically significant is unclear. Because randomized trials cannot be done, this issue is difficult to study. The effects of breastfeeding on developmental outcome in term infants seems to be small or insignificant. For otherwise healthy children the potential differences are not clinically relevant; however, these small differences distributed over an entire population might have a significant effect on society. Although significant methodologic concerns exist, the effects of breastfeeding on preterm infants may be greater than those for term infants. Extremely low birth weight, premature infants (< 750-1000 g) have been found to have IQs that are 13 points lower than term controls and a 50% to 60% risk for requiring special-education services when they are in school. In these infants, small improvements in IQ and neurologic function could have a much greater effect. Further study of neurodevelopmental outcome in premature infants fed breast milk compared with those fed preterm formula are indicated. This information should not change the practice of encouraging breastfeeding of term and preterm infants because other advantages to breastfeeding exist.
A Reynolds
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatric clinics of North America     Volume:  48     ISSN:  0031-3955     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatr. Clin. North Am.     Publication Date:  2001 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-03-09     Completed Date:  2001-03-29     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401126     Medline TA:  Pediatr Clin North Am     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  159-71     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Child Development Unit, Children's Hospital, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Brain / physiology*
Breast Feeding*
Cognition / physiology
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / physiology
Milk, Human / chemistry,  physiology*
Vision, Ocular / physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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