Children's healthy diets lead to healthier IQ: study

August 7, 2012, University of Adelaide
Diet supplies the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues in the first two years of life, says study author Dr Lisa Smithers says. Photo by Kimi Bono.

(Medical Xpress) -- Children fed healthy diets in early age may have a slightly higher IQ, while those on heavier junk food diets may have a slightly reduced IQ, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

The study - led by University of Adelaide Public Health researcher Dr Lisa Smithers - looked at the link between the eating habits of children at six months, 15 months and two years, and their IQ at eight years of age.

The study of more than 7000 children compared a range of dietary patterns, including traditional and contemporary home-prepared food, ready-prepared baby foods, breastfeeding, and 'discretionary' or junk foods.

"Diet supplies the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues in the first two years of life, and the aim of this study was to look at what impact diet would have on children's IQs," Dr Smithers says.

"We found that children who were breastfed at six months and had a regularly including foods such as legumes, cheese, fruit and vegetables at 15 and 24 months, had an IQ up to two points higher by age eight.

"Those children who had a diet regularly involving biscuits, chocolate, lollies, and chips in the first two years of life had IQs up to two points lower by age eight.

"We also found some negative impact on IQ from ready-prepared given at six months, but some positive associations when given at 24 months," Dr Smithers says.

Dr Smithers says this study reinforces the need to provide children with healthy foods at a crucial, formative time in their lives.

"While the differences in IQ are not huge, this study provides some of the strongest evidence to date that from six to 24 months have a small but significant effect on IQ at eight years of age," Dr Smithers says.

"It is important that we consider the longer-term impact of the foods we feed our children," she says.

The results of this study have been published online in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

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JVK
not rated yet Aug 07, 2012
This article attests to the predictive explanatory power of modeling behavioral development based on what is already known about the molecular biology that is common to species from microbes to man.

Nutrient chemicals and pheromones are unequivocally required for adaptive evolution (i.e., of behavior) via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction as detailed in Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. http://dx.doi.org...i0.17338

Discussions about IQ seem to proceed in the absence of the minimal intelligence required by some people to inform themselves about the currently available neuroscientific facts. Instead, we have random mutations theory, domain-specific modules and denial of the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones on IQ.

Studies like this one require replication. Models for behavioral development cannot be compared unless there is more than one.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (2) Aug 07, 2012
Classic western diet is deficient in minerals *and* bioactive compounds. 79% of US citizens on a western diet are below the RDI of copper. Lack of copper leads to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Many are also deficient in zinc ~40% or so, lack of zinc leads to mental retardation - US has an election coming up ffs !
JVK
not rated yet Aug 07, 2012
I think the transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal choline intake may be the most important of all to construction of our evolved socio-cognitive niche, intelligence, and its effects on personality. Predictably, the effects are akin to what happens when you alter diet-driven DNA methylation in the honeybee queen. That predictability is based on the molecular biology that is common to all organisms that need food to live, and that live to reproduce under the control of nutrient chemicals that metabolize to pheromones (e.g., organisms from microbes to man).

Maternal choline intake alters the epigenetic state of fetal cortisol-regulating genes in humans http://www.fasebj...abstract

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