Chances are your children or grandchildren are back in school after the summer break. So I thought it was a good time to highlight the fact that the right vitamins for children can improve their mental performanceIn fact, hundreds of studies underscore the importance of nutrition in cognitive development.
Stephen Schoenthaler, Ph.D., a professor at California State University at Stanislaus, has been researching this topic for years. In one study, Dr. Schoenthaler and his colleagues tested the IQs of 245 schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 12 in Phoenix, Ariz. They then enlisted teachers to distribute either a vitamin and mineral supplement or a placebo to these children on a daily basis.
At the study's conclusion, IQ tests were again administered, and the students who had been taking the supplements and vitamins for children had an average 2.5 point gain in IQ. The truly impressive finding of this study, however, was that the children who were poorly nourished at the study's onset gained at least 15 IQ points!
The researchers also noted that test scores were closely linked with school performance, and suggested that parents “of schoolchildren whose academic performance is substandard would be well advised to seek a nutritionally oriented physician for assessment of their children's nutritional status.”
Recommended Vitamins for Children
The recommended time to begin a chewable supplement is around age four. Look for a children's multivitamin with a wide range of vital nutrients, including vitamins C (125–250 mg), E (25–50 IU), and A as beta-carotene (2000–4000 IU), selenium (10–20 mcg), calcium (50–100 mg), vitamin D (200–400 IU), folic acid (200–400 mcg), B6 (5–10 mg), and B12 (50–100 mcg). I also recommend supplemental docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There are several good chewable brands of vitamins for children, or look for a flavored liquid and take as directed.
Now it’s your turn: Do your children/grandchildren take nutritional supplements?
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