Navigation Links
Breastfeeding boost IQ in infants with 'helpful' genetic variant

New Haven, Conn.Breastfeeding boosts infants IQs, but only if the babies have a genetic variant that enhances their metabolism of breast milk, a Yale researcher and collaborators report today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It is this genetic variant in FADS2, a gene involved in the control of fatty acid pathways, that may help the children make better use of the breast milk and promote the brain development that is associated with a higher IQ score, said Julia Kim-Cohen, assistant professor of psychology and a member of the research team.

Children who do not carry the helpful genetic variant have normal average IQ scores, Kim-Cohen said. Being breastfed for them is not associated with an IQ advantage.

The study included researchers from Kings College, London, Duke University, and the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The intelligence quotient (IQ) has long been at the heart of debates about nature versus nurture. Twin studies document both strong genetic influences and nongenetic environmental influences on IQ, particularly for young children.

This study looked at how long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAS), which are present in human milk but not in cows milk or most infant formulas, are metabolized. LC-PUFAS in breast milk, the authors said, is believed to enhance cognitive development because the fatty acids are required for efficient neurotransmission and are involved in neuronal growth and regeneration.

The study included 1,037 children in New Zealand and 1,116 families with same sex twins in England and Wales. Those who were breastfed and had the genetic variant FADS2 had IQs that were 5.6 to 6.3 points higher than children who were breastfed but did not have the variant.

The finding has many implications, including for the public understanding of genetics, the authors said. To date, research on gene-environment interactions has been dominated by the search for genetic variants that increase disease susceptibility to environmental pathogens. However, genes are not only implicated in disease. Here we have shown that a genetic variant may also enhance a favorable response to a health promoting exposure present throughout human ancestry.


Contact: Jacqueline Weaver
Yale University

Related biology news :

1. Green tea boosts production of detox enzymes, rendering cancerous chemicals harmless
2. Rutgers high school outreach gets $3 million boost from NSF
3. Breast cancer research and inkjet tissue printing get NSF boost
4. Monkeys use baby talk to interact with infants
5. Soy isoflavone may inhibit common gastrointestinal illness in infants
6. Does the desire to consume alcohol and tobacco come from our genetic makeup?
7. Diverse genetic abnormalities lead to NF-κB activation in multiple myeloma
8. Many parents at-risk for cancer disclose genetic test results to children
9. Genetics determine optimal drug dose of common anticoagulant
10. Claims of sex-related differences in genetic association studies often not properly validated
11. American College of Medical Genetics responds to new FDA labeling decision for warfarin
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. ... the development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling ... sciences industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds ... million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount ... or more additional closings are expected in the near ...
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition of ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, ... and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... said Andrew Rae , President & CEO ... not only value enriching for this clinical program, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... biggest event of the year and one of the premier annual events for ... and ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider ... , today announced that the company has set a new ... 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to ... and Mexico , with the establishment of an ... 2015. --> United Kingdom and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions ... in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and ... are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses ...
Breaking Biology Technology: