Breastfeeding promotes brain development in children

The benefits of lactation it's a topic that has been talked about a lot. Betting on this form of feeding during the first months of the baby's life is a great success that has many positive effects on the child. From an improvement of your immune system to the prevention of long-term obesity and even better brain development.

This is indicated by Medela, an association that contributes to the promotion of lactation in families. Breastfeeding the youngest favors the production of white matter in the brains of babies, helping cognitive development, something that, in the long term, even allows the academic results of children to be better.


Breastfeeding ensures that the baby receives several macronutrients. Elements that favors the smallest in different facets. Among these benefits is the development of gray and white matter in children's brains. A result that, in part, is due to the presence of fats in this food.

The fat in breast milk is between 50 and 60% of the caloric intake of a full-term baby. This element also plays a crucial role in supplying the baby with free fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. Triacylglycerols, formed by saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, are the most abundant type of fat in breast milk, since they represent more than 98% of total fat.

LCPUFAs, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA), are of particular importance, since they accumulate in the membrane lipids of the brain and retina, where they exert important visual and neuronal functions. In fact. Babies fed a higher volume of breast milk show higher levels of plasma concentration of DHA and AA in the cerebral cortex, gray matter and white matter, and a higher IQ at 15 years of age compared to babies fed formula milk that does not contain LCPUFA.

Those breastfed babies have between 20% and 30% more white matter - part of the central nervous system composed of nerve fibers covered with myelin - than children who only took formula milk, concentrating this matter in the specific areas of the brain that control language and reasoning, motor skills, emotions and sociability.

Benefits of breastfeeding

As already mentioned at the beginning of the text, breastfeeding provides several Benefits both the mother and the baby. Here are some of them:

- Babies receive a complete and optimal diet

- The composition of breast milk varies and follows the growth rate of the child

- Provides protection against gastrointestinal diseases

- Reduces the risk of childhood diabetes

- Offers protection against amoebas and other intestinal parasites

- Offers protection against ear infections

- Offers protection against respiratory diseases

- Offers protection against kidney infections

- Offers protection against septicemia

- Reduces the risk of psoriasis

Damián Montero

Video: Breastfeeding mothers at reduced risk of type 2 diabetes - In Depth

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