Dr. Weeks’ Comment: the best source, of course, is when the mother is well nourished with vitamin C rich foods and the breast milk is saturated with vitamin C and other life-giving nutrients.
Vitamin C May Boost Babies’ Brain
Health Tuesday September 22, 2009
New research shows that running low on vitamin C may hamper mental development in newborn babies.
In experiments on newborn guinea pigs, scientists discovered that animals with a moderate vitamin C deficiency had significantly worse spatial memory than guinea pigs fed a normal diet. What’s more, the C-deficient animals had 30 percent fewer neurons (nerve cells) in the hippocampus (a region of the brain involved in forming, sorting, and storing memories).
About five to 10 percent of newborns in Western countries may suffer from vitamin C deficiency, the study’s authors estimate. Since vitamin C deficiency may play a role in the development of learning disabilities, the authors add, it may be advisable for high-risk pregnant women to take a vitamin C supplement.
An antioxidant abundant in citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, and leafy greens, vitamin C has also been found to protect against gum disease and the common cold in previous studies.