Posted by: Indonesian Children | May 2, 2010

EFFECTS OF DIET AND NUTRITION ON PSYCHOLOGICAL/PSYCHONEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING IN CHILDREN

Research Project:

EFFECTS OF DIET AND NUTRITION ON PSYCHOLOGICAL/PSYCHONEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING IN CHILDREN

2007 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine the effects of diet and nutritional status on psychological and psychoneurophysiological development and other brain-related functions of infants, toddlers, and school-aged children. The overall goal of these studies is to determine how diet and nutrition affect central nervous system development as measured by non-invasive tools that can assess brain function and can predict such important areas as language acquisition, learning abilities, cognition, attention, and other behaviors.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Children (infants, toddlers, and school-aged youths) will be studied using a variety of well established and safe assessment tools to determine various central nervous system (CNS) functions. Several psychological and psychoneurophysiological tests have been developed specially for infants (starting at age one day) and children. These will be used to study the effects of diet and nutritional status on brain development and function. The short-term and long-term effects of breast feeding and/or formula on growth, body composition, development, and nutritional status will be studied. Nutritional status assessments, anthropometric measurements, urine and blood analysis, and measures of psychological, neuropsychological, and cognitive measures will be obtained and analyzed. The effects of diet (i.e., breast milk, milk-based and soy-based formula, school breakfast, and school lunch) on these measures will be studied.
4.Accomplishments
Do Infant Diets Differentially Influence Behavioral Development?: Surprisingly, the three major infant diets—-i.e., breast milk, milk-based formula, and soy formula—-have never been comparatively studied to determine if there are diet-specific effects on behavioral development. The need for such comparative information is amplified by safety concerns about potential effects of estrogenic compounds in soy formula on the rapidly growing and developing brain of infants. Scientists at Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in Little Rock, AR, have studied the long-term effects of infant diet on development. Preliminary analyses of data during the first year show all groups are within normal ranges of psychological development; however, breast-fed children score slightly higher on some tests. These are the first comparative data regarding behavioral development of infants on the three major infant diets, and while they suggest some developmental advantages for breast feeding, there are no indications of adverse effects of soy formula. These findings should help reduce the anxiety of parents and industry regarding the use of soy formula. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 1 Soy-Based Formula Studies)Effects of Early Diet on Brain Function Related to Language Development: Although the foundations for speech perception are present at birth and significantly modified during infancy, the influence of early diet on these processes has not been determined. Scientists at Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in Little Rock, AR, have recorded the passive brain responses (event-related potentials) to syllables of awake infants who are either breast- or formula-fed (milk based or soy based) during infancy. These responses were very similar across feeding groups, but slight processing differences were observed for breast- relative to formula-fed infants. In addition to documenting diet-specific influences on early language development, these studies are providing much needed normative data regarding the influence of early diet on this important aspect of development, as well as information required to address concerns regarding the safety of soy formula. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 1 Soy-Based Formula Studies)

Cardiovascular Development Is Affected by Infant Diets: Early nutrition is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease later in life, yet there are no comparative studies documenting the effects of the three major infant diets—i-.e., breast milk, milk-based formula or soy formula—-on cardiovascular development in healthy infants. To address this issue Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center researchers have studied infants fed formula with and without a fatty acid found in breast milk (DHA). Infants fed formula without DHA showed higher heart rate during the first postnatal six months relative to breast-fed infants or infants fed DHA-containing formula (including soy formula). Although these data are preliminary and from a small number of infants, the results suggest a possible role for DHA in early programming of heart rate, and this may be an important indicator of early developmental effects related to long-term heart health. This study is also providing normative data regarding the influence of early diet on this important aspect of development, as well as information required to address concerns regarding the safety of soy formula. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 1 Soy-Based Formula Studies)

The Effects of Early Infant Diet on Brain Function and Behavior Later in Development: In early life the brain develops rapidly, and external influences (such as drugs, disease, or diet) can alter the course of brain development, resulting in either permanent or transitory changes in behavior. Although soy formula contains phytochemicals that could potentially alter brain development, there are no published studies comparing behavior and neurocognitive function in school-aged children who were breast-fed or fed milk-based or soy-based formula as infants. Scientists at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in Little Rock, AR, are addressing this issue by combining the sequential features of information processing recorded from the brain surface with functional magnetic imaging technology (fMRI) to determine whether there are differences in neurocognitive activation in children during a language task involving semantic differentiation that can be related to early nutrition. In addition to providing the first comparative data addressing potential long-term effects of the three major infant diets on brain function and behavior, this investigation will be the first to apply these sophisticated methods to study nutritional effects on brain function in preadolescents. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 1 Soy-Based Formula Studies)

Are Dietary Recommendations of USDA Food Assistance Programs Effective in Maximizing Behaviors Important for Learning?: Policy underlying the development of the USDA Nutrition Assistance Program is based upon reliable nutritional science, but there are very few studies documenting the effects of these programs on neurophysiological and behavioral functions known to be important in learning. Scientists at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in Little Rock, AR, have completed the most extensive investigation yet documenting that compared with children who ate breakfast, those who skipped breakfast were less attentive, had slower response times to visual stimuli, and had slower heart rate (an indicator of decreased alertness), suggesting that breakfast facilitates brain and motor processes important in learning. Furthermore, these studies have led to a new biomarker of stimulus-related information processing and the subsequent motor responses, the event-related eye blink. This information should be helpful to anyone wanting to maximize learning or for other tasks that require maximal attention and optimal motor skills, and clearly supports the need for consuming breakfast prior to these tasks. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 2. School Breakfast-Lunch Studies)

Optimizing Diets for Brain Development in Low Birth Infants: Safety and Dose Finding Studies: Healthy, premature infants usually have central nervous system (CNS) deficiencies later in life that can lead to poor cognitive and behavioral performance. Since these infants have normal development up to birth, inappropriate diet composition is one potential explanation for CNS problems that are noted in later life of premature infants, and a new formula for these infants is needed. Scientists at Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center have conducted safety and dose studies on monosaccharides that are an essential component of brain cell membranes. These compounds were found to be safe, and their effects on brain function are being evaluated. These results can now be used to formulate infant formulas that include these compounds, with the idea of providing the building blocks needed to develop healthy brain cell membranes. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 3. Low Birth Weight Formula Supplement Studies)

Optimizing Diets for Brain Development in Low Birth Infants: Identifying Monosaccharide Levels in the Placenta and Maternal and Cord Blood: Healthy, premature infants usually have central nervous system (CNS) deficiencies later in life that can lead to poor cognitive and behavioral performance. Since these infants have normal development up to birth, inappropriate diet composition is one potential explanation for CNS problems that are noted in later life of premature infants, and a new formula for these infants is needed. Scientists at Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center collected placentas, maternal and cord blood (as well as breast milk) from women with normal pregnancies and deliveries to access the levels of monosaccharides that would be available to the fetus. They were able to calculate the concentration range needed for further safety and dose finding studies that have now been conducted in adult volunteers. These results can now be used to formulate infant formulas that include these compounds, with the idea of providing the building blocks needed to develop healthy brain cell membranes. [NP107: Component 6 – Prevention of Obesity and Disease: Relationship between Diet, Genetics, and Lifestyle; Component 7 – Health Promoting Intervention Strategies for Targeted Populations] (ACNC Project 3. Low Birth Weight Formula Supplement Studies)
6.Technology Transfer

 

 

 

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Clinical and Editor in Chief :

WIDODO JUDARWANTO 

email : judarwanto@gmail.com,

 

 

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