Breast Feeding Your Baby may Reduce Risk of Schizophrenia

There have been some studies that suggest that lack of breast feeding in babies may increase the risk of schizophrenia - but the data is still inconclusive; some studies show that there is no effect whether a baby is breastfed or not. To be on the "safe side" it is probably advisable to breast feed babies for the typically recommended period of time (at least 6 months), if not longer (see relevant books on the topic). Research has suggested that breastfed babies have better mental health - but the degree to which that means a lower risk for schizophrenia is unclear.

Breast milk is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids - examples include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) - which are important for brain development and nerve growth. Some research suggests that polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet can help alleviate mental illness symptoms, and/or protect against exacerbation of such symptoms.

Action: Women who have new-born children may want to breast feed their babies for a significant time period to potentially increase the brain health of the baby and reduce rates of schizophrenia.

Supporting Research (a sample):

















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