16 de Diciembre de 2018
Portal Educativo de las Américas
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La Educación
Número: (134-135) I,II
Año: 2000


Malnutrition impairs cognitive functions, it hampers education. In some countries, except for the privileged class, it afflicts the entire population. Yet, in a basic way malnutrition can be totally prevented.

Infants fed plain baby formula underperform on mental development tests when compared with those who received docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid supplements. Those who receive the fatty acids supplements will have brains better equipped for a successful education. One could argue that these supplements are difficult to obtain, expensive, the privilege of the rich. Yet these “supplements” are natural in human milk.

Iron-deficient diet induces changes in dopaminergic-D receptor activity and in dopamine-associated behaviors, affecting thermo-regulation and motor activity. This deficiency alters the lipid composition and function of the neuronal membrane, or the availability of neurotransmitter precursors at the synapse. Iron deficiency affects cognitive functions; it impairs learning and memory capacity. Iron, however, is abundant in this earth.

Malnutrition stunts retinal and brain development. Folate deficiency during pregnancy induces neural tube defect in infants. Iodine and zinc deficiencies affect brain development. Protein malnutrition compromises growth and cognitive functions.

Not surprising, breast feeding and protein, iron, iodine, and zinc in the diet enhance cognitive functions, at least seem to prevent their failure. This nutrition should enhance education. Why is this information not put to use for everyone?