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Early Hum Dev. 2010 Feb;86(2):119-25. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2010.02.001. Epub 2010 Feb 21.

A longitudinal study of differences in electroencephalographic activity among breastfed, milk formula-fed, and soy formula-fed infants during the first year of life.

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1
Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, Slot # 512-20B, 15 Children's Way, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The extent to which adequate nutrition from infant diets differentially influence developmental outcomes in healthy infants has not been determined.

AIM:

To compare the effects of the major infant diets on the development of brain electrical activity during infancy.

STUDY DESIGN:

Scalp EEG signals (124 sites) recorded from the same infants during quiet wakefulness at 3, 6, 9, and 12months.

SUBJECTS:

Healthy, full-term infants (40/group; gender matched) either breastfed (BF) or fed milk formula (MF) or soy formula (SF) through the first 6months.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Power spectral values for frequencies in the 0.1-30Hz range.

RESULTS:

Significant diet-related differences were present across frequency bands and included effects that were time- [peaks in 0.1-3Hz at 6 (MF,SF) and 9months (BF); 3-6Hz at 6months (MF, SF>BF); increases in 6-9Hz from 3 to 6months (MF>BF) and from 6 to 9months (MF>SF)] and gender-related (9-12Hz and 12-30Hz: at 9months BF>MF, SF boys, and MF>SF girls).

CONCLUSIONS:

The development of brain electrical activity during infancy differs between those who are breastfed compared with those fed either milk or soy formula, but is generally similar for formula-fed groups. These variations in EEG activity reflect diet-related influences on the development of brain structure and function that could put infants on different neurodevelopmental trajectories along which cognitive and brain function development will proceed.

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