Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diet For Brain Development, From The Beginning

Date:
November 30, 2007
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Studies looking into how diet and nutrition affect central nervous system development from birth are now being conducted. Scientists are using noninvasive tools to assess infant, toddler and school-aged children's psychological, neurological and physiological development, as well as other brain-related functions.

While mother looks on, nutritionist weighs baby boy for long-term ARS study of developmental effects of three different infant formulas.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Studies looking into how diet and nutrition affect central nervous system development from birth are being conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists. They are using noninvasive tools to assess infant, toddler and school-aged children's psychological, neurological and physiological development, as well as other brain-related functions.

Healthy newborns soak up information from their surroundings while their developing brains sprout billions of nerve cell connections, or synapses. The brain's "hardwiring" actually starts in the womb, directed by the growing fetus' genetic game plan acquired from both parents. Good nutrition is key to supporting the growth of this network of neurons from the beginning.

ARS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency, is funding research at the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center (ACNC), which is managed cooperatively by ARS and the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Ark.

Among other projects, Terry Pivik, a psychophysiologist who heads the ACNC's Brain Function Laboratory, and Janet Gilchrist, who heads the ACNC's Clinical Nutrition Unit, are interested in defining best feeding practices for brain development among infants and children.

For a project called The Beginnings Study, researchers are using measures of brain activity, behavior and growth to study hundreds of infants who have been reared exclusively on one of the three most commonly fed infant diets: breast milk, cow's milk formula or soy-based formula.

So far, preliminary results indicate that there are slight cognitive and language advantages among the breast-fed infants at 6 and 12 months, compared with infants in the two formula-fed groups. The researchers caution that these differences will require further evaluation in the context of other contributory factors. The study will continue for several more years.

Brain development continues throughout early childhood and is now believed to undergo a second wave of dramatic functional changes during adolescence, according to experts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Diet For Brain Development, From The Beginning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071126152503.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2007, November 30). Diet For Brain Development, From The Beginning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071126152503.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Diet For Brain Development, From The Beginning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071126152503.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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