Breastfeeding as a possible deterrent to autism - A clinical perspective

Gary Steinman*, David Mankuta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The emergence of autism in young children appears to result from dysmyelination of brain neurons, related to inadequate supply of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in the newborn. This report is intended to bring together relevant observations from prior research to develop a new, innovative hypothesis to elucidate the mechanism underlying autism development. The deficiency of IGF in affected infants may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors yet to be determined. If this hypothesis is correct, breastfeeding in particular could increase IGF levels, thereby compensating for an inborn deficiency of the growth factor.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)999-1001
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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