Improved Nutrition can Improve Cognitive Functioning in Children

29. 06. 2017

Children today are growing up in a highly competitive world where they are presented with constant mental and emotional challenges. At school, where academic expectations are increasingly high, they face frequent tests and exams.

Getting into the best colleges and universities is becoming harder. The global economy is rapidly evolving and the job market is increasingly competitive.



To stand the best chance of success in life, kids need to maximize their  problem-solving, lateral thinking and digital literacy skills. It is well-established that  nutrition can have a profound effect on cognitive function, particularly during the early years when the brain is fully developing.

According to the USDA, 85% of children are not getting all of the nutrients that are essential for optimal brain development (CDC. Adolescent and School Health Nutrition Facts. 2013). Most are consuming diets rich in sugars, hydrated fasts and salt, and low in fruit, vegetable, fibers and nutritional lipids. The deterioration in children’s diets across the world not only leads to physical problems such as obesity and diabetes, but also affects their cognitive health –     undernourishment at an early age can cause a variety of cognitive and behavioral deficits over a person’s life time (World Health Organization: Early child development. 2009). The World Health Organization has estimated that every year more than 200 million children under the age of five fail to reach their full cognitive and social potential.



One nutrient that has been proven to support brain health is Phosphatidylserine (PS) which is one of the lipid building blocks of cellular membranes, particularly in neuronal cells.
Normal PS levels in the brain are associated with efficient signal transduction and other biological processes crucial to the maintenance of normal cognitive function. PS is found in human breast milk and foods such as soy and fish, but the amount we get in our diets has fallen by 50% – more so in some groups, including children (Hamm M. Nutritional-scientific statement on the change of nutritive provision with phosphatidylserine. 2002).


A series of clinical studies have shown that supplementing children’s diets with PS improves various aspects of memory and learning .. In the US, PS gained a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. . PS is authorized as a Novel Food in Europe, as well as being approved for use in China, Australia, and other countries.



Parents naturally want to give their children every possible opportunity, and. one area of their children’s life that parents can influence is nutrition. As awareness grows concerning the benefits of improved nutrition on children’s cognitive development, demand for nutrients such as PS will grow. As a PS supplier providing custom-tailored and next generation PS grades, Enzymotec is proud to be part of the drive to provide parents with the tools to assist their children in reaching their full potential.


[1] Hirayama, S. et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Nutr Diet 27 Suppl 2, 284-291, (2014); Yong, T., Zhang, Q., Mi, M., Hu, G. & Wen, J. Research on human memory enhancement by phosphatidylserine fortified milk. Chongqing Medicine 40, 3022-3023 (2011)