20:00 | 21/05/2017 Society
(VEN) - International and Vietnamese pediatric nutrition experts gathered at symposium in Ho Chi Minh City on May 20 to share the findings and discuss about the role of essential nutrients in supporting children’s brain development as well as how to reduce factors causing learning interruptions.
At the symposium “Science-based nutrition supports children’s brain development, better health and learning outcomes” hosted by the Vietnam Pediatric Association in cooperation with the global healthcare company Abbott, Dr. Matthew J. Kuchan (Senior Principal Research Scientist, and Global Cognition Platform Lead at Abbott and the Center for Nutrition, Learning and Memory) shared research findings with local experts.
|Dr. Matthew J. Kuchan (Senior Principal Research Scientist, and Global Cognition Platform Lead at Abbott and the Center for Nutrition, Learning and Memory)|
Dr Kuchan said: “DHA is an important building block that supports brain development but DHA needs to be protected by lutein and natural vitamin E. Our research shows, these three vital nutrients - when combined - stimulate 81% more brain connections compared with DHA alone in research models, and provide more nutrients for faster brain connections.”
Additionally, research has shown that lutein and natural vitamin E help to protect cell membranes and omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA from oxidative damage. DHA is particularly vulnerable to damage by free radicals (oxidation) and natural vitamin E can protect DHA from oxidation, together with lutein.
Studies also have found that the infant brain preferentially accumulates natural vitamin E over synthetic vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is found in parts of the brain that are linked to memory, vision and language development.4
“Not all forms of vitamin E are equal,” Dr. Kuchan said. "Since, natural and synthetic vitamin E are structurally different. Natural vitamin E, or RRR-trocopherol, is more biologically active than the synthetic forms of vitamin E, which are typically found in fortified foods and supplements.”
Nutrition in the early years of life can have a profound effect on children’s health status as well as their ability to learn. At the symposium, experts have discussed how to reduce factors leading to learning interruptions of children.
|Prof. PhD. Dr. Pham Nhat An, vice president and general secretary, the Vietnam Pediatric Association|
Prof. PhD. Dr. Pham Nhat An, vice president and general secretary, the Vietnam Pediatric Association shared: “There are several factors affecting cognitive development in infants and children - including infections and digestive issues. It is because children’s health status is associated with the opportunity to experience and explore the environment, that impacts their brain development. Evidences show that reducing factors that interfere children’s learning will help to ensure foundation for cognitive development.”
As experts’ sharing, solutions to ensure cognitive development include breastfeeding as breast milk is ultimately the best source of nutrition for a new baby, improving environmental factors together with using healthy alternative nutrition supplements for children if needed.
Mr. Douglas Kuo, General Manager of Abbott Vietnam said: “We understand that proper nutrition is the foundation for living the best life possible, for children greater opportunity to maximize their future well-being, live better and achieve more across the life span. We wish that the latest science and best practices shared at the symposium today can add values to local healthcare professionals’ daily consultancy and ensure the child cognitive development through good nutrition.”