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We already knew that breastfeeding is the best food a mother can offer her baby, but it also improves brain development in babies. How is it possible to know? Researchers at Brown University have conducted a study using MRI machines to observe brain growth in children under 4 years of age.
The results showed that babies fed with breast milk had better brain development than those who used a combination of breast and artificial feeding.
This image contributed by Brown University shows how the myelin content, the fatty matter that insulates nerve fibers and determines the speed with which electrical signals are produced around the brain, increases in breastfed babies. Similar studies have been carried out before, but this is the first time it has been seen through images.
To do this, study author Dr. Sean Leoni and his colleagues used MRI machines on 133 children aged 10 months to 4 years while they slept. The babies were divided into three groups: those who were exclusively breastfed with breast milk, those who were fed with breast milk and artificial milk and, finally, those who only drank formula milk.
The study showed that the exclusive breastfeeding group had the fastest growth in myelinated white matter. The group fed mixed lactation had higher growth than the exclusively formula-fed group, but less than the breast milk group.
In addition, the effects of the duration of breastfeeding were analyzed. And they concluded that babies breastfed for more than a year had greater brain growth, especially in brain areas that deal with motor function.
We already knew about many other advantages of breastfeeding for babies, but these tests show it without a doubt.
Source: Brown University
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