Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal micronutrient supplementation boosts children's cognition in Nepal

Date:
December 21, 2010
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
In developing countries where iron deficiency is prevalent, prenatal iron-folic acid supplementation increased offspring intellectual and motor functioning during school age, according to researchers.

In developing countries where iron deficiency is prevalent, prenatal iron-folic acid supplementation increased offspring intellectual and motor functioning during school age, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They examined the intellectual and motor functioning of children whose mothers received micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy and found that aspects of intellectual functioning including working memory, inhibitory control, and fine motor functioning were positively associated with prenatal iron and folic acid supplementation.

The results are published in the December 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Iron is essential for the development of the central nervous system," said Parul Christian, DrPH, MSc, lead author of the study and an associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health. "Early iron deficiency can alter neuroanatomy, biochemistry, and metabolism, leading to changes in neurophysiologic processes that support cognitive and sensorimotor development."

Researchers conducted a cohort study in rural Nepal, following 676 children aged 7 to 9 years from June 2007 to April 2009 who were born to women in a community-based, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of prenatal micronutrient supplementation between 1999 and 2001. Child participants were randomly assigned to receive daily iron, folic acid and zinc, or multiple micronutrients containing these plus 11 other micronutrients. All received vitamin A, as did a control group of vitamin A alone from early pregnancy through 3 months postpartum. Researchers assessed intellectual functioning using the universal nonverbal intelligence test (UNIT) and motor function was assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC). The study found evidence that maternal prenatal supplementation with iron and folic acid was positively associated with general intellectual ability, some aspects of executive function, and fine motor control compared to offspring of mothers in the control group.

"This innovative study shows that in very low-income settings, children's cognitive performance is influenced by their mother's iron+folic acid status during pregnancy, along with school attendance, illustrating the importance of both nutritional and environmental interventions," said Maureen Black, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and an adjunct professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health.

"Few studies have examined whether micronutrient supplementation during gestation, a critical period of central nervous system development, affects children's later functioning," adds Christian. "Considering the significant role of iron and folic acid in the development of both intellectual and motor skills, antenatal use per international guidelines should be expanded in many low and middle-income settings where program coverage continues to be poor."

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Parul Christian, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, Subarna K. Khatry, Joanne Katz, Barbara A. Schaefer, Pamela M. Cole, Steven C. LeClerq, and James M. Tielsch. Prenatal Micronutrient Supplementation and Intellectual and Motor Function in Early School-Aged Children in Nepal. Journal of the American Medical Association, December 22/29 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.1861

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Prenatal micronutrient supplementation boosts children's cognition in Nepal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221163834.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2010, December 21). Prenatal micronutrient supplementation boosts children's cognition in Nepal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221163834.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Prenatal micronutrient supplementation boosts children's cognition in Nepal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221163834.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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