Vitamins and Children: Boost Brain Power with Vitamins
|By Marcelina Hardy, Staff Writer on Friday, August 19, 2011|
|Studies show that giving children daily vitamins increases their brain
capacity. Find out what supplements you should be giving your little
ones right here.||
Vitamins can boost a kid’s brain power? Yes, that’s right. Supplying your children with adequate nutrition and supplementing with vitamins can greatly enhance their memory, alertness and clarity. In fact, according to Dr. Ray Sahelian, author of Mind Boosters, “Nutrition plays a significant and crucial role over the long run and the short run in brain health.”
Take your child’s learning power to a completely new level by supplementing with vitamins to help them reach their full potential.
Vitamins to Boost Brain Power
Not only is vitamin C essential to the immune system to help your children stay healthy, it’s also has a special benefit to the brain. The brain actually has a mechanism that draws any excess vitamin C out of the blood for use in the brain. The vitamin C is a roadblock to free radicals before they cause any damage to the brain. Vitamin C also makes neurotransmitters in the brain, which is what processes stimuli (such as, information learned in school).
A deficiency in B12 can lead to memory loss and mental slowness, so it’s important to brain health that the body receives enough of this vitamin to prevent this from happening. Vitamin B12 is found in meat or by supplementing with B complex or a standalone B12 supplement.
Without enough vitamin B6, you’ll feel irritable and fatigued. If you have enough, your brain is able to make enough dopamine (another type of neurotransmitter). An increase in dopamine can help increase alertness so that children can pay more attention to lessons taught in school.
Iron is also important in the production of dopamine. It’s been found in a study that 84 percent of ADD/ADHD children had low levels of iron, which correlated with their level of low attention levels.
Zinc also has to do with dopamine but not like how vitamin B6 and iron do – zinc makes sure that the brain uses the dopamine efficiently. Low levels of zinc means that the brain doesn’t respond as well to the dopamine and low level of inattention result.
HelpGuide.org recommends that children receive 20 mg of zinc, five days a week to help with academic performance.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the brain function properly and keep toxins away, according to Your Family Clinic. It helps many bodily functions by protecting cells from damage. Its main role is keeping red blood cells healthy so that they can carry oxygen to the brain, according to KidsHealth.org.
Omega 3s are essential to brain functioning and can enhance memory. According to Your Family Clinic, children who don’t get enough omega 3s early in life may have lower IQ scores later in life.
Selenium isn’t a vitamin but it has beneficial brain effects so it’s worth mentioning. It’s actually a mineral and usually found in healthy grains, garlic, meat, seafood and Brazilian nuts. In a research study mentioned on the Your Family Clinic Web site, participants felt more clearheaded, confident, euphoric and had more energy after taking it for three months.
How to Choose What to Give
This is a big list of supplements to give a child and it’s not meant to be a grocery list of pills. It’s a guide of what your child should be getting in his nutrition to boost brain power. If your child’s diet doesn’t include one or more of these vitamins, then supplementation may be a sound idea and investment.
Discuss Vitamin Supplementation with Your Doctor
Before you begin giving your child anything new, speak to your doctor. Vitamins do carry risks, can interact with other drugs and overdose is possible. Advise your doctor of any medications, supplements and medical concerns you have so that he can give proper guidance on how and if you should supplement your child’s nutrition with these vitamins.
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