The Role of Nutrients in Child’s Brain Development
Vasiliki Karavida, Eleni Tympa, Athina Charissi

Early childhood is a basic stage for the child's later life. During this period the brain development and the foundations for cognitive development and social-emotional skills, is laid. Nutrition plays a key role in optimal brain function. When a child is adequately fed, the basis for smooth brain function is created. Nutritional deficiencies may affect the child’s cognitive skills and behavior. Since rapid brain development occurs during the early years, this period may be particularly sensitive to deficiencies in the diet. Modern data shows that diet seems to be one of the most important growth and maturation factors in the brain both in infancy and childhood. In particular, fatty acids play a central role in brain tissue, iron deficiency causes disturbances in attention, memory and behavior, and is closely linked to lower cognitive indices. Long-term studies have shown that children with iron deficiency have lower school performance. In addition, zinc, as well as iodine and vitamins D and B12 deficiencies are likely to adversely affect brain function and memory. An inadequate diet usually causes multiple deficiencies of micronutrients with short-term and long-term effects on the functioning of the child's brain.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v8n2a18