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Mother’s Milk may have no influence on child’s Q

A major study conducted on breastfeeding revealed that mother’s milk had little or no impact on the child’s intelligence. //

Studies in the past 80 years have reported higher IQs in breastfed children than in formula or cow’s milk fed ones. However, the recent study proposes that the reason could be that the mothers of the breastfed babies could be more intelligent. Other influencing factors are higher levels of education and stimulating home environments.

The Medical Research Council and the University of Edinburgh carried out the study by examining the data from 5,475 children and 3,161 mothers in the US, collected from the US national longitudinal study of youth, 1979. Several factors like whether the child was breastfed, the home environment, socio-economic status and maternal intelligence, race and education were taken into account.

The results revealed that when breastfeeding alone was considered, the IQ of the child seemed to have an advantage. However, when other factors like maternal intelligence, home environment and IQ were taken into account, there was less than half a point’s difference due to breastfeeding in the child’s IQ. Scientists consider this difference to be trivial.

"It's absolutely minuscule," said Geoff Der, a statistician from the Medical Research Council's social and public health sciences unit, who led the study. This finding was supported by the additional study involving comparison of statistics on kids in the sample group, in which, one group had been breastfed and the other had not. "Breastfeeding has little or no effect on intelligence in children," says the research, published by the British Medical Journal online. "While breastfeeding has many advantages for the child and mother, enhancement of the child's intelligence is unlikely to be among them."

However, the study revealed a direct association between the mother’s IQ and the chances of her to breastfeed. Mr Der said: "The
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