May 14/Pharma Law Weekly-- A report, "Dietary micronutrients are associated with higher cognitive function gains among primary school children in rural Kenya," is newly published data in the British Journal of Nutrition. "With the exception of iodine and Fe, there is still very limited information on the effect of micronutrients on cognitive function, especially among school-age children. The present analysis evaluates the relationship between dietary Fe, Zn and B vitamins (B12, B6, folate and riboflavin) and gains in cognitive test scores among school children in rural Kenya," scientists report.

"Data for the present study were obtained from The Child Nutrition Kenya Project, a two-year longitudinal, randomized controlled feeding intervention study using animal source foods. Dietary nutrient values were based on monthly and bimonthly 24-hour recall data collected during the study period. In longitudinal regression analyses, available Fe, available Zn, vitamin B12 and riboflavin showed significant relationships with improved cognitive test scores, after controlling for confounders such as energy intake, school, socio-economic status and morbidity. Available Fe intake was associated with significantly higher gains in Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices test scores over time. Available Zn intake was associated with significantly higher gains in digit span-total test scores over time, while vitamin B12 and riboflavin intakes were each associated with significantly higher gains in digit span-forward test scores over time," wrote C.A. Gewa and colleagues, George Mason University.

The researchers concluded, "This analysis demonstrates the influence of improved dietary micronutrient status on school children's cognitive function."

Gewa and colleagues published their study in theBritish Journal of Nutrition("Dietary Micronutrients are Associated with Higher Cognitive Function Gains Among Primary School Children in Rural Kenya."British Journal of Nutrition, 2009;101(9):1378-87).

Additional information can be obtained by contacting C.A. Gewa, College of Health and Human Services, Dept. of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030.

From the May 26, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition