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Toxins: Breastmilk vs. Formula

Posted in , , , on 8-21-12

Toxins: Breastmilk vs. Formula

Every couple of months some new study comes out on the news about possible toxins in breastmilk. Some reports even make you think it may be unsafe to let your baby have your breastmilk. Don’t panic! Not only are these stories usually slanted for sensationalism, they are usually unbalanced.

In an ideal world there would be no toxins, but the simple truth is there are unavoidable, trace amounts of toxins in both breastmilk and formula. If available, breastmilk is still superior to artificial feeding. Breastmilk protects our babies in so many miraculous ways, we are still learning all of its benefits.

You hear so much about the dangers of breastmilk, I wanted to balance those arguments and highlight some of the potential dangers of formulas (from the International Breastfeeding Center):

  • Formula feeding pollutes the environment with physical and chemical waste.
  • In the past some toxins in formula have been linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Toxins increase the risk of developing some cancers.
  • Artificial toxins may interfere with neurological function and learning abilities. True, and the evidence shows that children who were breastfed do better on neurological and intelligence tests than artificially fed children.
  • Formula feedings may interfere with immunity.
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