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Review

Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children—An Update and Novel Insights

1
School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
2
FrieslandCampina AMEA, Singapore 039190, Singapore
3
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
4
Nutrition and Dietetics Programme, School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian 16150, Malaysia
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Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases Working Group, Indonesian Pediatric Society, Jakarta 10310, Indonesia
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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusomo National Referral Hospital Jakarta, Jakarta 10430, Indonesia
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Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Ibadan 200284, Nigeria
8
Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Peking University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China
9
Laboratory of Toxicological Research and Risk assessment for Food Safety, Peking University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China
10
FrieslandCampina, 3818 LE Amersfoort, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010199
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 6 January 2021 / Accepted: 7 January 2021 / Published: 10 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and the Brain)
Proper nutrition is crucial for normal brain and neurocognitive development. Failure to optimize neurodevelopment early in life can have profound long-term implications for both mental health and quality of life. Although the first 1000 days of life represent the most critical period of neurodevelopment, the central and peripheral nervous systems continue to develop and change throughout life. All this time, development and functioning depend on many factors, including adequate nutrition. In this review, we outline the role of nutrients in cognitive, emotional, and neural development in infants and young children with special attention to the emerging roles of polar lipids and high quality (available) protein. Furthermore, we discuss the dynamic nature of the gut-brain axis and the importance of microbial diversity in relation to a variety of outcomes, including brain maturation/function and behavior are discussed. Finally, the promising therapeutic potential of psychobiotics to modify gut microbial ecology in order to improve mental well-being is presented. Here, we show that the individual contribution of nutrients, their interaction with other micro- and macronutrients and the way in which they are organized in the food matrix are of crucial importance for normal neurocognitive development. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain; neurodevelopment; childhood; protein quality; tyrosine; tryptophan; poly-unsaturated fatty acids; polar lipids; minerals; vitamins; kynurenine; gut-brain axis; prebiotics; probiotics brain; neurodevelopment; childhood; protein quality; tyrosine; tryptophan; poly-unsaturated fatty acids; polar lipids; minerals; vitamins; kynurenine; gut-brain axis; prebiotics; probiotics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cohen Kadosh, K.; Muhardi, L.; Parikh, P.; Basso, M.; Jan Mohamed, H.J.; Prawitasari, T.; Samuel, F.; Ma, G.; Geurts, J.M.W. Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children—An Update and Novel Insights. Nutrients 2021, 13, 199. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010199

AMA Style

Cohen Kadosh K, Muhardi L, Parikh P, Basso M, Jan Mohamed HJ, Prawitasari T, Samuel F, Ma G, Geurts JMW. Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children—An Update and Novel Insights. Nutrients. 2021; 13(1):199. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010199

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cohen Kadosh, Kathrin, Leilani Muhardi, Panam Parikh, Melissa Basso, Hamid J. Jan Mohamed, Titis Prawitasari, Folake Samuel, Guansheng Ma, and Jan M.W. Geurts 2021. "Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children—An Update and Novel Insights" Nutrients 13, no. 1: 199. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010199

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