Saturday, November 10, 2007

Health: Breast-fed children show DNA-aided IQ boost

Science News reports that scientists have achieved a breakthrough in deciphering the genetics of intelligence by accounting for a key environmental factor.

A team led by psychologist Avshalom Caspi of King's College London, reports breast-feeding boosts children's IQs by 6 to 7 points over the IQs of children who weren't breast-fed, but only if the breast-fed youngsters have inherited a gene variant associated with enhanced chemical processing of mothers' milk.

The new finding supports the controversial hypothesis that fatty acids in breast milk enhance newborn babies' brain development. Moreover, the results demonstrate that intelligence researchers must examine how children's genetic natures interact with the ways in which they're nurtured.

Full article: Smarty Gene: Breast-fed kids show DNA-aided IQ boost by Bruce Bower