Diet and child development

I have been thinking a lot of late about the effect of diet on child development, in particular about what specific nutrients can do for the brain. We all grew up knowing that sunset yellow food colouring = hellish behavioural meltdown and fish = brain food. It’s the good oils you see.

And today I was reminded of this subject again when reading this story on BBC about a family whose two sons are affected by a rare genetic disorder that attacks the brain and nervous system, called adrenoleukodystrophy.  This condition was made famous by the film Lorenzo’s Oil about sufferer Lorenzo Odone whose symptoms were eased by taking a combination of rapeseed and olive oils daily.

Because Orange is so small for his age, and allergic to dairy, I always add either rapeseed or olive oil to every meal that he eats. And I have a strange sort of gut instinct that these good fats will also help his brain development in some way. I am trying to find out more about it. Orange has something called delayed myelination which basically means that the fatty sheaths in his brain pathways aren’t quite what they should be and as a result they struggle to send messages the right way. Everything takes a bit longer.

What I really want to know is whether I can help Orange in some way with his myelin development, and general cognitive abilities via his diet.  There is much reading to be done. I am pretty sure there isn’t a dietitian in the land who has the knowledge I need. I am going to try and seek out a progressive medical school somehow that may be doing, or want to do, a study. Orange is a good little eater and I am sure will be a very willing little guinea pig.


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