Clever mums make clever kids, and not breast milk.
That's the conclusion of a new study by scientists at the University of Southampton.
Earlier research had established that infants fed on formula milk tend to have lower intelligence, and the IQ difference frequently has been put down to a deficit of an omega 3 fatty acid, known as DHA. DHA is normally found in lower concentrations in formula milk.
However, in the latest study, boffins found no evidence of a link between intelligence and breastfeeding, reports The Times.
Dr Catharine Gale, from the University's MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, who led the study said: "This study helps to dispel some of the myths surrounding DHA. We do know that there are clear health benefits to breast feeding but DHA, which is naturally present in breast milk and added into some formulas, is not the secret ingredient that will turn your child into an Einstein."
"There's been a quite inconsistent picture on the link between breastfeeding and intelligence," said co-author Sian Robinson.
To reach their conclusion, researchers analysed data from 241 children and their mothers in the UK, dividing the babies into three groups - breastfed, those fed with formulas fortified with MHA and those fed unfortified formulas.
After analyses, boffins found that the breastfed babies performed significantly better than those given unfortified milk. But once the impact of social class and inherited IQ were taken in to account, breastfeeding appeared to have no affect on intelligence.
"Factors in the home, such as the mother's intelligence and what mental stimulation children receive, were the most important influences on their IQ," said Dr Gale.