Dairy products, B vitamins and cognition in children

There is increasing recognition of the importance of early nutrition for the development of cognitive diseases later in life. A good diet is also essential for optimal well-being and development in children. Motor and cognitive characteristics are constantly evolving in children, and an adequate supply of nutrients helps to ensure this development. Furthermore, it is also thought to be able to reduce the risk of disease development later in life.

By: Grith Mortensen

The purpose of this project is to investigate the relationship between B-vitamin status in children and development of their motor and cognitive abilities. The project will explore how the diet in the period where the child transitions from breastmilk or infant formula to the family diet, the complementary diet period, affects B-vitamin status. This period marks a major change in the diet for children and it has also been suggested that the need for especially vitamin B12 is high in this period, as the content of the human breast milk and the child’s own depots are scarce. Especially milk and dairy products are good sources of B12 and are believed to have particularly good bioavailability. Therefore, a balanced intake of milk and dairy products may have a significant impact on B-vitamin status and hence possibly also for cognitive development.

Project period: April 2018 - March 2021

Budget: 869.048 DKK

Financing: Milk Levy Fund. Arla Foods, in-kind from the participants 

Project manager: Christian Mølgaard

Institution: Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen 

Participants: Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen and Chalmers University