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J Nutr. 1995 Aug;125(8 Suppl):2278S-2280S. doi: 10.1093/jn/125.suppl_8.2278S.

Human milk and breast feeding for optimal mental development.

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Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (INTA), Universidad de Chile, Santiago.


Human milk has been characterized as the optimal food for human growth and development because of its nutritional, antiinfective and biological properties. Research conducted over the past decades provides further evidence on the uniqueness of human milk feeding for optimal brain development. The recognition of specific functions for the long chain essential fatty acids present in human milk as key components of neural membranes necessary for optimal brain development has provided a biological basis for this phenomenon. In addition the act of breast feeding provides unique mother-infant interactions opportunities that may have important implications for infant growth and development. These findings may have special relevance to populations in developing countries because this provides yet other very strong reasons to favor human milk feeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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