Study: Gene Gives Breastfed Babies Higher IQs

A new study has identified a gene that is believed to give breastfed children higher IQs, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.

For the study, researchers from the U.S., London and New Zealand examined more than 3,000 breastfed infants in Britain and New Zealand and found that children who had the FADS2 gene had an average IQ that was 6.8 points higher than babies without the gene. FADS2 is a gene involved in the genetic control of fatty acid pathways. Fatty acids such as DHA have been shown to improve infant IQ.

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Ninety percent of the children studied had at least one copy of the FADS2 gene and saw an increase in IQ if breastfed. Scientists studied this gene because it produces an enzyme found in breast milk, which also has been associated with higher IQs.

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The IQ scores of the 10 percent of babies that did not have gene were not influenced by breastfeeding, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.