Transcript: The Best Baby Formula
Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.
For those of us starting new families, one of the myriad concerns that comes up is how am I ever going to get my child to eat their veggies? And one answer, just discovered, is, ironically, to exclusively breastfeed as long as possible—apparently doubling the likelihood that they’ll end up eating twice as many vegetables when they grow older. How could that be?
The researchers suggest that “breastfed babies, whose mothers regularly eat a variety of foods, are exposed to a diversity of flavors that are absent from formula milk and this early exposure augments the acceptance of various flavors.” So, when our kids eventually eat some broccoli, instead of spitting it out, though, they’ll subconsciously think, hey, I remember this.
This could help explain these findings, summarized last year, suggesting that the longer babies are breastfed, the lower their risk of developing chronic diseases when then grow up. Babies fed formula, on the other hand, grow up to have higher rates of obesity; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes; heart disease; stroke; asthma; twice the risk of developing celiac disease (gluten intolerance); more inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis); and childhood cancers (including leukemia).
They suggest a variety of mechanisms—stuff babies are getting too much of on formula; stuff they’re getting too little of; leading to changes in their gut flora, hormonal, and immune systems, which can set them up for problems later on.
The latest Surgeon General’s report agrees with the official World Health Organization recommendation—which agrees with the best available science—that all women in the world exclusively breastfeed for a full six months. Whether your own milk, a wet nurse, or a milk bank, there is simply no good substitute. It’s the only formula for optimum health.
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