Important Vitamins For Brain Development In Children
Our brain is a very unique organ which, if not developed properly, can become a victim of various neurological and cognitive diseases. A major part of brain development occurs during the growing years of childhood and hence, your child’s diet plays an important role here.
While you might know that Vitamins are crucial for brain development, do you know what these Vitamins actually do? Let’s take a look at the role of some of Vitamins:
One of the most common known roles of Vitamin A is improving vision. However, what many might not know is this Vitamin’s role in cognitive functions. Vitamin A regulates various neurological processes in growing children. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is one of the most common forms of malnutrition globally. Vitamin A, supplemented through diet, has been found to aid learning and memory in children.
Vitamin B12 & Folates2
Studies have found that Vitamin B12 deficiency in babies hampers brain development. Folate deficiency contributes to neural tube defects. Brain growth is especially rapid in the first two years of a child’s life, and deficiencies of vital nutrients can interfere with his/her development and functional capabilities, particularly those associated with higher-order thinking. Children who get an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 performed better in cognitive tests than those who had a deficiency.
While it has been established that Vitamin D is crucial for bone development, it has also been found to be important for a child’s cognitive capabilities. Vitamin D receptors are widespread in brain tissue, and studies indicate that low concentrations of this Vitamin can be linked to a range of diseases later in life like Alzheimer’s.
Free radicals are molecules that compromise cellular functions of the brain. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, whose primary function is to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. As children grow, their brains become increasingly susceptible to the negative effects of these free radicals which may lead to neurodegeneration in their adult life.
As you see, Vitamins play an important role in a child’s life from the very beginning. If deficient in the diet, Vitamin E can, apart from other physical ailments, hamper the development of the brain itself which makes it imperative for you to ensure that your child gets adequate amount of Vitamins through his/her diet.