18/12/2009 06:13 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mozart Music "Helps Premature Babies Grow Faster"

Doctors in Israel have announced that the music of Mozart could help premature babies grow.

They carried out a study on 20 premature infants, measuring their energy levels.

They found that the babies used less energy when they were listening to the music - which could mean they can increase their weight faster.

Dr Ronit Lubetzky, one of the main researchers in the study at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, told Associated Press: "While listening to this specific music, a baby can have a lower energy expenditure and hopefully he will gain weight faster than without music."

There have been previous studies carried out into the benefits of Mozart's music.

Back in 1993 researchers claimed that college students increased their IQs by listening to Mozart.

Parents rushed out to buy the composer's music in an attempt to produce brainy children - but later studies challenged these findings.

The Israeli researchers say any benefits from Mozart's music may stem from the repetition of the melody in his compositions.

The babies in this study were played Mozart for 30 minutes, and the amount of energy they spent was measured.

The following day, their energy expenditure was measured without the music.

The babies used at least 10% less energy when they were listening to the music.

Apparently the music appears to have relaxed the babies, which may be why they used up less energy.

Dr Lubetzky said: "They might be more calm while listening to music, or they might have fewer stress hormones. All those things mean they have a lower heart and respiratory rate."

The doctors now aim to study the effects of other types of music, ranging from ethnic tunes to Israeli pop, on premature babies.

That will be interesting - to find out whether some types of music soothe the babies more than others.

I wonder if they'll be trying out gangsta rap...

Source: Associated Press