The importance of Diet, Vitamin D and a Child Ready to Learn – Part 3/3

13 Oct

What I discovered about Vitamin D deficiency may explain one of the reasons why so many school children age 6 to 18 in the US perform poorly in school and on standardized tests.

In November 2009, Scientific American asked an important question and then provided the answer.

The question was, “Does Vitamin D. Improve Brain Function?”

The answer, “The first study, led by neuroscientist David Llewellyn of the University of Cambridge, assessed vitamin D levels in more than 1,700 men and women from England, aged 65 or older…

“The scientists found that the lower the subjects’ vitamin D levels, the more negatively impacted was their perform­ance on a battery of mental tests. Compared with people with optimum vitamin D levels, those in the lowest quartile were more than twice as likely to be cognitively impaired.”

“A second study,” Scientific American reported, “led by scientists at the University of Manchester in England and published online this past May, looked at vitamin D levels and cognitive performance in more than 3,100 men aged 40 to 79 in eight different countries across Europe. The data show that those people with lower vitamin D levels exhibited slower information-processing speed.

In addition, Science Daily says, “Doctors McCann & Ames point out that evidence for vitamin D’s involvement in brain function includes the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain. They also discuss vitamin D’s ability to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior.”

But how much sun should be absorbed to create adequate levels of Vitamin D?

U. S. says, “If you’re fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin.

“If you’re already tan or of Hispanic (Latino) origin, you need maybe 15 to 20 minutes, and black skin may require six times the sun exposure to make the same vitamin D levels as a very fair-skinned person…”

So, next time you hear someone criticize teachers when children are not learning, say there’s more to educating a child than a teacher teaching. A vital aspect of education has to do with what parents feed their children and how much time a child spends outdoors absorbing sunlight.

In fact, offers 7 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Success in School and says, “A recent study by Columbia University showed that kids whose families eat regular, relaxed meals together are not only less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and develop eating disorders-they are also more likely to achieve higher grades.”

Return to The importance of Diet, Vitamin D and a Child Ready to Learn – Part 2 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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