Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Supernutrients Mean Super Health For Children

Date:
November 23, 1998
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Salmon, butternut squash, lean beef and spinach may not sound like any child's idea of the perfect meal. But as evidence mounts that four supernutrients # vitamin A, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid # act as the foundation for a child's good health, concerned parents should consider new ways to make these foods and others like them appetizing, said Dr. Robert Squires Jr., associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

DALLAS - November 20, 1998 - Salmon, butternut squash, lean beef and spinach may not sound like any child's idea of the perfect meal. But as evidence mounts that four supernutrients -- vitamin A, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid -- act as the foundation for a child's good health, concerned parents should consider new ways to make these foods and others like them appetizing, said Dr. Robert Squires Jr., associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Vitamin-A deficiency is implicated in measles mortality; iron deficiency is associated with a loss of developmental skills; omega-3 deficiency has been blamed for decreased visual acuity; and folic-acid deficiency in pregnant women can cause neural-tube, or brain and spinal, defects, said Squires, who sees patients in the gastroenterology clinic at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.

When mothers of the 1930s spooned out cod-liver oil as a cure-all, they weren't ignorant victims of old wives' tales. The foul-tasting elixir is rich in vitamin A, which plays a large role in maintaining mucous membranes and protecting the body against infection, Squires said.

"Vitamin-A deficiency has a proven role in measles mortality. The measles virus affects the lung tissue, so when children die from measles, they die from respiratory failure," the pediatrician said.

Recurrent studies have shown that a child can be iron deficient without being anemic and still exhibit such negative consequences as subpar motor skills, low IQ and low athletic endurance, Squires said.

Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish and green vegetables. The metabolic byproduct of omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is an important component in the brain and in retinal proteins.

"Infants fed formula deficient in omega-3 fatty acids have a measurable decrease in visual acuity," Squires said. "Visual acuity is enhanced when DHA is added to the formula."

He said breast milk, which contains DHA, is the best source for infants.

Many large-scale studies have shown that folic acid plays a significant role in prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, which occur when a segment of the spinal nerve cord grows outside the bony spiny column.

"There are certainly increased requirements of folic acid during fetal growth," Squires said. "In the 1990s, we have the option of preventing neural-tube defects. All women of child-bearing age should consume at least 0.4 milligrams of folic acid per day."

This year the Food and Drug Administration began requiring that all flour products, including pasta and bread, be enriched with folic acid. Some cereals are also fortified with folic acid.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Supernutrients Mean Super Health For Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981123081055.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (1998, November 23). Supernutrients Mean Super Health For Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981123081055.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Supernutrients Mean Super Health For Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981123081055.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins