Babies who born naturally may have higher IQs compared to those delivered through caesarean section, claims new research by Scientists from Yale University in the US. They study found that when women give birth naturally there are increased levels of special protein known as UCP2 in the brain of babies, which helps boost intelligence levels when they develop.
Researchers found the higher levels of UCP2 protein in the brain of naturally born babies could help cultivate their short and long term memories, as they grow up. These memories are the key components of human IQ. A team led by Dr Tamas Horvath made the discovery after studying the hippocampal region in the brains of mice born naturally and by caesarean.
The team found that mice born through C-section have lower levels of UCP2 because of that they suffered impaired adult behaviours. Natural birth triggered UCP2 expression in the neurons located in the hippocampal region of the brain. But, it was reduced in the brains of mice born through C-section.
C-sections could increase the risk of internal bleeding and could lead to problems to do with fertility in the future, think critics. UCP2 protein has already been attributed with helping to boost the chances of newborns breastfeeding. The findings appear at a time when a deal of controversy surrounds C-sections
Lead author Dr Horvath, explained these results reveal a potentially critical role of UCP2 in the proper development of brain circuits and related behaviours. The increasing prevalence of C-sections driven by convenience rather than medical necessity may have a previously unsuspected lasting effect on brain development and function in humans as well. The study was published in journal PLoS ONE.