Breast milk may not be best for newborn children after all, according to a Norwegian study which claims baby formula is just as beneficial.
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Research leader Professor Sven Carlsen has claimed: “Baby formula is as good as breast milk.”
By reviewing more than 50 international studies on the relationship between health and breastfeeding, the team found that most concluded the more children had breastmilk, the healthier they become.
Prof Carlsen said this was superficially correct but that breastfeeding itself was not responsible for improving health. Rather, it is the hormone balance in a woman’s womb before she gives birth which affects her ability to express milk.
The research claims the association between healthy children and breastmilk is misleading and the only genuine benefit is “a small IQ advantage”, which has not yet been properly confirmed.
Prof Carlsen, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, said: “There are very few studies that have examined the underlying controls on breastfeeding ability.”
The research is published in the January edition of the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologia Scandinavica.