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Scans Show Breast Milk May Be Good for the Brain

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, scans are showing that breastfeeding may have specific benefits for developing brains, according to a new study published online in the journal NeuroImage.  More from The New York Times:

[The study] found that compared with babies who received formula, breast-fed infants had increased development in white matter regions of the brain, including areas associated with planning, social and emotional functioning, motor ability and language. The differences were linked to better performance on tests of motor development and visual acuity.

The scientists studied 133 healthy children ages 10 months through 4 years in three groups: exclusively breast-fed, exclusively formula-fed, and those fed a combination of formula and breast milk....

...."I'm not saying if you didn't breast-feed, you're doomed," said the lead author, Sean C. L. Deoni, an assistant professor of engineering at Brown University. "We couldn't control for things like how much interaction a kid has with his parents, what kind of learning environment he lives in, and so on. There are a lot of factors that go into making a successful adult."

Image: Breastfeeding baby, via Shutterstock