Log In
Sunday 18th March 2018

Early nutrition impacts on brain

20th February 2008

Researchers have discovered that nutrition in the first weeks of life impacts on the way the brain develops.

Premature Baby

A team from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the UCL Institute of Child Health found that preterm babies fed enriched formula milk in their first weeks consistently outperformed other premature babies in IQ tests. The trend also continued into later life.

The findings were published in Pediatric Research and showed that a particular part of the brain was better developed in those infants given the enriched milk. They also indicated that early feeding may altar the structure of the brain.

However, lead researcher Dr Elizabeth Isaacs said it remained unclear where this just related to preterm infants who have very specific development issues.

The infants were fed various versions of milk but in every case, children who received the enriched formula performed better.

That difference was particularly notable in boys at the age of eight. Those fed the normal diet had a verbal IQ 12.2 points lower on average than those fed the enriched formula. In girls, that difference showed up even more significantly at the age of 16.

With 10% of babies in the UK born prematurely, a spokesperson for the premature baby charity Bliss said: ‚ÄúThese findings are potentially very interesting and could have an influence on current thinking about how, when and what to feed premature infants. The care that premature babies receive in their first few hours and days of life is crucial and will shape their future development and quality of life.‚Ä?


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Early nutrition impacts on brain
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 5705
Date Added: 20th Feb 2008


BBC News

Recent Related Articles

Energy drinks ban in the UK

Aussie flu continues to sweep across the UK

New early warning system to be rolled out across NHS


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


M3 - For secure managed hosting over N3 or internet
© Mayden Foundation 2018