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April 11, 2005

Extra zinc in diet 'helps pupils do better at school'

Topics: Health Issues

- Zinc found to help memory and attention span in pupils
- Supplements may help kids improve classroom performance
- Porridge and raspberries for breakfast, children?

A double-blind study has determined that a daily supplement of zinc can boost pupils' performance in the classroom.

Researchers monitored 200 schoolchildren and found that those taking more than double the current recommended daily intake of zinc had faster and more accurate memories. Their attention spans also increased.

Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral found in many everyday foods, including red meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. The traditional Scottish breakfast of porridge oats is also rich in zinc, as are raspberries.

In the new study, children aged between 12 and 13 were given a specially prepared fruit juice to drink each morning before school. Some of the fruit juices had a 20mg zinc supplement added, while others had zinc added at the current recommended level of 10mg. A third set of fruit juices were left without a supplement. The children, their parents and their teachers were unaware of which juice they were being given.

Supplementation of essential nutrients works in the elderly as well, and it's not just with zinc.

Posted by Hyscience at April 11, 2005 10:01 AM

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