Jakarta: Want your kids to be smarter with higher levels of intelligent quotient (IQ)?
A study has suggested that women who take proper vitamin supplements during their pregnancy as well as provide a strong nurturing environment to their children may boost their memory and cognitive ability equivalent of up to one full year of schooling.
The findings showed that children whose mothers who take multi-micronutrient supplements during pregnancy may have impressive long-term benefits including better "procedural memory".
The procedural memory is tied to the learning of new skills and the processing of established perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills.
In addition, the study found that "a child's nurturing environment is more strongly correlated than biological factors to brain development and general intellectual ability, declarative memory, procedural memory, executive function, academic achievement, fine motor dexterity and socio-emotional health," said researchers from the University of Mataram in Indonesia.
For the study, the team tested nearly 3,000 Indonesian school children, whose mothers had consumed either multiple micronutrient (MMN) supplements or standard iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements during pregnancy.
The results showed that biological factors such as maternal nutritional status during pregnancy, low infant birth weight, premature birth, poor infant physical growth and nutritional status were not as strongly linked to cognitive ability as the socio-environmental factors such as home environment, maternal depression, parental education and socio-economic status.
The study appeared in the journal Lancet Global Health.