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Luciana B Sutanto, dr. MS.

Samuel Oetoro, dr. MS. SpGK
Guthrie HA, Picciano MF. Human Nutrition.
Westermarck T, Antila E. Diet in relation to
the nervous system. In: Human Nutrition and
Dietetics (Garrow JS, James WPT, Ralph A,
Fernstrom JD, Uauy R, Arroyo P. Nutrition
and Brain.

Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Function

0-2 years
2-5 years
5 years -.
1 2
12 years
Brain volume
Intra uterine
Brain development
POST-NATAL (0-36 months)
> 36 month

Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Function

Inadequate dietary intake
Lack of sufficient and/or suitable quality of
Frequent infection

Undernourished children generally had poorer
fine & gross motor function, also had more
behavior problem.
Amino acid are required for the synthesis of
proteins, peptides and certain neurotransmitters.
Biosynthesis of brain protein depends on the
continuity of amino acid supply.
The amino acid of human milk are presents in
approximately the proportion necessary for
tissue synthesis, cystein-taurine-triptophane are
Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Function

Fatty Acid
Vitamin A
The n-3 & n-6 fatty acid content of myelin &
the other membranes are high.

Booth fatty acid are important in fetal life,
and in the 1st year or 2 of post-natal

n-3 FAs are concentrated in a few tissues
including brain. (Stevens et al, 1995)

DHA (dihomogammalinoleic acid) and AA
(arachidonic acid), derived from linoleic acid,
is important in the structure and function of
cerebral membranes.

Human breast milk supplies AA in amount
considered to meet accretion in membrane-
rich tissues.

Folate deficiency causes Neural Tube Deffect
spina bifida: neural tube fails to close at 4 weeks of
anencephaly: forebrain fails to develop

Food sources of folate:
Grain products
Green leafy vegetables
Organ meats

Zn deficiency causes Neural Tube Deffect
unencephalocele: hernia protrusion of the brain
iniencephaly: brain metter protruding through a
fissure of the vertebral column

Food sources of Zn:
dairy products, beans and lentils, yeast, nuts,
seeds, wholegrain cereals, pumpkin seeds.
Iron deficiency causes
impaired cognitive
impaired psychomotor development & function
impaired temperature regulation

The brain sensitives to iron deficiency during the
first 2 years of life

Food sources of iron: meat, fish and poultry,
fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts and grain

Iron absorption increases in:
Acid environment (ferric ferrous iron)
A good source of vitamin C (oranges, grapefruits,
tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries)
A NON-HEME food cooked in an iron pot

Iron absorption decreases in:
A HEME and NON-HEME food eaten together
Large amounts of tea or coffee consumed with a meal
(the polyphenols bind the iron).
Excess consumption of high fiber foods or bran
supplements (the phytates in such foods inhibit
High intake of calcium (supplement)
Vitamin A excess causes major abnormalities
in fetal development.
In UK: pregnant women are adviced to avoid
food rich in vitamin A.

Food sources of vitamin A: organ meats (liver,
giblets), carrot juice, sweetpotato, pumpkin,
spinach, various ready-to-eat cereals, with
added vit A, pickled herring.
Iodine deficiency causes:
brain damage
mental impairment

Food sources of iodine: asparagus, garlic,
lima beans, mushrooms, seafood, sea salt
and fortified salt, seaweed, sesame
seeds,soybeans, spinach, turnip greens

Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Function

Vitamin B12
Folic Acid
Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin A
Vitamin E

The brain uses 20-30% of the bodys resting
metabolic rate

The mature neurons of brain need high
continues supply of energy to maintain their

Glucose is the main energy substrate for
synthetic and functional activities
The energy form amino acid only contributes less
than 10%.

Thiamine deficiency in babies causes:
meningitis, irritable, vomit, convulse, bulging
fontanelle, nystagmus
Thiamine deficiency in children & adults
Peripheral neuritis (loss of the sense of vibration,
with paresthesia & burning sensation in the feet)

Food sources of thiamin: grain products
(breads, cereals, pasta and rice), meat,
poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables

Pyridoxine is essential for synthesis or
metabolism of almost all neurotransmiter.

Pyridoxine deficiency causes: fatigue,
nervousness, irritability, depression, insomnia
& walking difficulties

Food sources of pyridoxine: germs of various
grains and seeds, leafy vegetables, etc
Vitamin E therapy may prove useful for some
brain disorders and may postpone in the
degenerative disease of aging

Food sources of vitamine E: asparagus,
avocado, egg, milk, nuts (almonds or
hazelnuts), seeds, spinach and other green
leafy vegetables, unheated vegetable oils,
wheat germ, wholegrain foods.

In elderly & in psychiatric patients, diet
deficient in B vitamins contribute to memory
loss, depression, dementia, and other
common disorder
Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Development
Nutrition & Brain Function

Nutrition is crucial during fetal & post-natal
in determining brain development

Brain development disorder of any stage
causes intellectual & behavioral impairment

Adequate intake of vitamins & minerals are
essential for normal brain function