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New findings presented on Natural Vitamin E in children

Released at: 10:56, 20/11/2017

New findings presented on Natural Vitamin E in children

Photo: Abbott

New study findings reveal the importance of Natural Vitamin E in children's early brain development.

by Huyen Thanh

The latest scientific research findings on nutrients for early brain development, especially, findings on how they can work together to protect DHA and also power up DHA for brain development, were presented by Dr. Lisa Renzi from the Psychology Faculty at Georgia University in the US and Dr. Matthew J Kuchan, Abbott Nutrition’s Senior Principal Research Scientist, Global Cognition Platform Lead, at the Center for Nutrition Learning and Memory at the University of Illinois in the US at a conference on November 19 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The conference was hosted by the Vietnam Pediatrics Association in cooperation with the global healthcare company Abbott. The important role of natural vitamin E has only recently been discovered:

• Natural Vitamin E is 1.5 times as active as synthetic Vitamin E.

• A baby’s brain prefers Natural Vitamin E (NVE) over Synthetic Vitamin E. The areas of the infant brain associated with visual, memory, and language development have a greater concentration of NVE as opposed to the synthetic version.

• Natural Vitamin E might protect DHA from damage by free radicals.

• Natural Vitamin E, together with DHA and Lutein, have been found in areas of the brain important for learning. The combination of Lutein, NVE, and DHA produced more connections in brain cells than with DHA alone. Research shows that these three vital nutrients, when combined, stimulate 81 per cent more brain connections compared with DHA alone in research models, and provide more nutrients for faster brain connections. These brain connections contribute to children’s brain function and learning.

“Research proves that NVE and Lutein help to protect cell membranes and omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA from oxidative damage,” according to the research paper. “DHA is particularly vulnerable to damage by oxidation and the two nutrients can work as antioxidants to protect DHA. Moreover, in our most recent study, we have found that infant brain preferentially accumulates NVE over the synthetic version. Since natural and synthetic Vitamin E are structurally different, NVE, or RRR-tocopherol, is more biologically active than the synthetic forms of Vitamin E, which are typically found in fortified foods and supplements.”

Dr. Kuchan’s recent research is extensively focused on the differences between natural and synthetic Vitamin E on brain development and was conducted in 2016 with support from Abbott, the global healthcare company.

Natural Vitamin E is found to be the predominant form of Vitamin E (> 70 per cent of total Vitamin E) in breast milk. It can also be found in natural foods and extracted from plant-based foods.

Food rich in NVE include nuts and seeds like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds, vegetables like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and pumpkin, vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil, and seafood such as salmon, trout, and oysters, among others.

On food packaging and labels, Natural Vitamin E is commonly listed as “RRR-alpha-tocopherol” or “d-alpha tocopherol”. The synthetic forms are usually listed as “all-rac-α-tocopherol” or “dl-alpha tocopherol”.

“For almost 130 years, we’ve pursued advancements in science, technology, medicine, and nutrition to deliver lasting impact and empower people to live a full life around the world,” said Mr. Douglas Kuo, General Manager of Abbott Vietnam. “We understand that proper nutrition is the foundation for living the best life possible, for children to have greater opportunities to maximize their future well-being, live better, and achieve more across their life span. We wish that the sharing of the latest science and best practices can add value to local healthcare professionals’ daily consultancy and ensure children’s cognitive development through good nutrition.”

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