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Thursday July 19, 2018

Editorial: Breast milk is still best for babies

THE World Health Organization (WHO) released an update of its 2007 Long-Term Effects of Breastfeeding: A Systematic Review as the start of this month, which just confirms what has long been said, that breast milk is still best for babies.

Let us qualify further that the “best” here means, it’s the only nourishment that suits human babies.

Now, for mothers and infant formula marketers who still insist that their fortified formula makes for more intelligent babies, not.

The update showed that while there was no significant effect of breastfeeding on the children’s total cholesterol and blood pressure and that a deeper study need to be conducted with regards breastfeeding and diabetes, breastfeeding scored high in two major concerns for babies: reduction in obesity and intelligence.

“In the pooled analyses of all studies, breastfeeding was associated with a 24 percent reduction in overweight and/or obesity, but the reduction was only 12 percent in the high-quality studies. Residual confounding may be still affecting these results, because protection is not evident in studies from low and middle-income countries where the social patterning of breastfeeding is not clear cut,” the report said.

But most interesting is the entry on intelligence tests of breastfed babies.

“Breastfeeding was associated with an increase in 3.5 points in normalized test scores in the pooled analyses of all studies, and 2.2 points when only the high-quality studies are included. The two randomized trials also found significant effects (1.5). We conclude that there is strong evidence of a causal effect of breastfeeding on IQ, although the magnitude of this effect seems to be modest,” the report said.

So what do infant formula stand to claim that their make for brighter babies? None.

It’s fresh, it’s free, and it’s produced by mothers within their bodies to feed their babies even without having to sterilize bottles. Just pop the breast out and baby can feed.


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