Is IQ predetermined from birth?
Everyone wants their child to be intelligent and a high achiever, yes we would love them to be sporty, good looking and happy too. My child is only a baby and I have yet to enter into the competitive parent conversations. “Barnaby can recite the Latin alphabet backwards while posing for Burberry and breaking the under 5’s sprint world record”. Inevitably it will come, maybe even sooner than I think. Of course we are all over the moon at our own child’s development and it truly is amazing. “The first two years is the key period of development of the brain and to securing longer-term neuro-cognitive function”. Little did I know that both Vitamin D and DHA are two key nutrients that can be deficient during this crucial period of life.
I thought vitamins were only really suitable for children over five and had yet to consider if and when I would give them to my children. Then an invitation arrived on the doorstep of The Sloaney. We were invited to attend the launch of a new vitamin ‘BrightStart’ for children aged month one to five years. The invitation posed the question ‘Can you make your child brighter? Does nutrition play a part or is IQ predetermined from birth?’ I went along to find out more.
From the moment you are pregnant or trying to conceive the first thing you look at is your diet. You ditch the champagne, the social cigarette, the hangover fry-up. You clean up your diet to give your unborn child the best start to life. You will take vitamins throughout your pregnancy, to include folic acid, omega 3 oils, vitamin D all the nutrients you have been told are essential to the growth of the foetus. As a nation, however, sadly we are deficient in many essential nutrients.
It has been a while since I was at University but that morning I was transported back in time to an intimate seminar by Professor Michael Crawford, an expert n Reproductive Physiology. With my little one safely in the arms of one of the Quest Vitamins team I scribbled note after note as the Professor spoke. My little baby brain was lapping it up.
Professor Crawford spoke on the importance of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in Homo sapiens diet, well that’s a mouthful. I had become more aware of the importance of DHA, known more commonly in omega-3 fatty acid, as I started my pregnancy journey. We all know to eat fish at least a couple of times a week but I had also stocked up on pregnancy vitamins and have continued while breastfeeding.
“In 600 million years, the importance of DHA to the ability of humans to see and think has not changed,” said the Professor. “You think because you are processing thoughts with synapses made by DHA”.
DHA fatty acid is the primary oil in fish it is also the primary fatty acid in the human brain and deficiency of this has been linked to cognitive decline. DHA status may also play a role in some behavioural and mood disorders affecting children. It makes sense when you compare the size of the Hippopotamus brain to that of a Dolphin brain and note the difference in their diet. One lives off the land the other off the sea. The marine diet is far superior in Omega 3 fatty acids.
The Professor posed the big questions; ‘Where have we gone wrong?’ namely our diets and the way in which our food is now grown, and ‘What can we do to change?’ he stressed the seriousness of the topic. In 2007 it was discovered that the greatest health crisis facing the UK were brain disorders, ahead of Cancer and Heart disease. Professor Crawford concluded that there are two options for this century to let things go on as they are (increase in neurological disorder, decline in IQ, increase in antisocial behaviour) or to address the issues and encourage brain health, growth and development of mother and child to safeguard the future of the human race solving the problem of mental health and diseases.
These are indeed big questions and ones that have had to be addressed before under different circumstances. During the war cod liver oil, milk and orange juice were delivered to the doorstep of pregnant women. With the tragic loss of so many men on the frontline it was essential to keep these unborn children healthy to ensure the next generation and keep of the population of the nation.
Professor Michael Crawford is an advisor and friend of Quest Vitamins founder, Dr. Hassam who aims to create superior products to help maintain optimum health for everyone. Quest have a range of over 70 ‘nutri/pharma’ products, with equal weight given to the nutritional and pharmaceutical approach at very reasonable prices.
Having had the privilege of meeting the team at Quest Vitamins, who are specialist professionals passionate about their products and their customers I feel more informed. I have been lucky enough to have had the information about the importance of these nutrients in plenty of time to include a diet rich in omega 3 and to take supplements while pregnant and breastfeeding and now I can continue providing this for my daughter.
‘BrightStart’ comes in an easy to administer droplet form, as trying to get children to take a pill can be tricky and as mentioned can start from a little as a one month old baby. It also ensures the RDA of Vitamin D which contributes to bone development, normal function of the immune system and muscles and maintains health teeth, not that my little one has them yet! One of the key factors for me is that BrightStart is free from preservatives, alcohol, sweeteners, sugars, artificial colours and flavours.
I am now having visions of my child following in the footsteps of Professor Michael Crawford…
BrightStart is available from www.questexcellence.com, £7.99 for a month’s supply.