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Even Tiny Preemies Thrive on Breast Milk

Breastfeeding your baby can prevent a host of health problems from teen obesity to heart disease as well as improve his or her brain function. Consuming breast milk is very important for tiny, premature babies, especially those who are born more than three months early and weigh less than 2.5 pounds, according to a new study.

Scientists monitored the health of more than 1,000 low-birthweight infants. About a fourth of babies were fed formula exclusively while the rest received some breast milk, if not more.

No surprise, the children fed breast milk did better on mental development tests than the formula kids. And, the more breast milk they drank -- no doubt due to its high omega-3 content -- the higher they scored on tests.

Mothers can extend those benefits to their children beyond the weaning period, if they consume food sources rich in omega-3 fats, like a high-quality krill oil, daily.

Pediatrics, Vol. 118, No. 1, July 2006: 115-123 Free Full Text Study

MSNBC July 5, 2006

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