Wednesday, January 16, 2008

DHA and A.D.D.

From my Dr Sears Newsletter...

DHA and A.D.D.

Studies have shown that children with ADHD tend to have low blood levels of DHA and arachidonic acid, two key brain fats. Perhaps this is why other studies have shown that children who have been breastfed are less likely to have ADHD, and the longer the period of breastfeeding, the less the likelihood of having ADHD. The reason seems to be that breastmilk is high in important fatty acids, such as DHA, GLA, and ALA, arachidonic acid, and others, but prior to 1997 most formulas contained none or little of these fatty acids. Studies at Purdue University in Indiana suggest that many boys with ADHD have low levels of the omega fatty acids DHA, GLA, and AA in their blood, and tended to have lower levels of ALA and LA precursors in their blood than boys without ADHD, suggesting that these children were unable to make the fatty acids their brain needs from the fats in their diet. The boys with ADHD who had the lowest levels of DHA, GLA, and AA, exhibited the most anxiety, impulsivity, hyperactivity and conduct disorders. The researchers suggested three possible explanations for their findings: the children's diets were deficient in essential fatty acids, the children had a metabolic problem that prevented the body from converting dietary nutrients to essential fatty acids for the brain, or various lifestyle and dietary factors reduced the level of essential fatty acids available to the brain. For more information on ADD and ADHD
Click Here.


Breastfeeding Builds Brighter Brains
We can't promise that breastfeeding will make your child a Nobel Prize winner, but research shows that babies who are breastfed are smarter when they get older.

Children who were breastfed have I.Q. scores averaging seven to ten points higher than formula-fed infants. It's important to remember that these numbers represent averages for hundreds of children, not the effect of breastfeeding on a specific individual. So, if you want to raise the intelligence level of an entire generation of children, breastfeeding would be a simple and cost-effective way to do it.
Studies have shown that children who are breastfed get higher grades in school, even after other influences on school performance are taken into account.
The intellectual advantage gained from breastfeeding is greater the longer the baby is breastfed.

Smarter fats. One key ingredient in breastmilk is a brain-boosting fat called DHA (docasahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is a vital nutrient for growth, development, and maintenance of brain tissue. Autopsy analysis of brain tissue from breastfed and formula-fed infants shows that the brains of breastfed babies have a higher concentration of DHA, and DHA levels are highest in babies who are breastfed the longest. Infant formulas made in the United States do not contain DHA. For more information on building brains with breastfeeding

Ok, other than being really creeped out and sad about the autopsy analysis of baby brain tissue (eff) that was interesting. I do like that they address the issue that people always rebut with "Well, really, WHAT is only 7 IQ points!! Its not even an argument or worth it! " (oh yes, the times I have read that rebuttal to these studies) I like that they address it in a community approach manner, its NOT the individual child, but imagine what, as a generation, the difference would be in its entirety.....and a reminder that it's averages as well. A lot of pro-breastfeeders toss it around like its a given your child will be smarter by that 7-10 points, but really, its an average from studies. Still a hell of a good average tho! I'll take those odds, thank you kindly :) Even if its a mere 4 points for my kids, but I mean, AS IF my kids are underachievers.I bet they are on the upper end of those bonus IQ points. (ok you know I am kidding. sorta. LMAO. Please, like I am THAT mother)

I do think they have something tho....those fatty acids are damn important for us, and feeding infants formula that is lacking them isn't going to kill them, of course, but there are just things that man cannot fathom duplicating either....nor come close to...besides being pro-breastfeeding I just find all this damn fascinating, from what we start feeding our children at birth (and what we should and shouldn't) with to what we eat now (and what we should and shouldn't lol) ..its all so interesting.


KM said...

Thanks for continuing to post the interesting articles. Sometimes it's like you're phsycic, everytime I'm ready to throw in the breastfeeding towel, your blog ends up being a reminder that I actually am pro breastfeeding and why it's so important. I shall continue to feed the good feed!!