Effects of Malnutrition on Brain Development
Human experience indicates that conditions of insufficient food, hunger, and starvation occur quite commonly in many parts of the world. The United States has been spared devastating famines or war damages for a long time and enjoys the best agriculture and an ample food supply. However, this has not been the case in Europe, devastated by two world wars in recent history, or Africa and Asia which have faced many acute food shortages, sometimes due to natural calamities and sometimes manmade. As mentioned earlier, the impact of nutritional deficiencies is felt most in infants and children because their nervous systems are still developing, whereas, in adults the brain is usually spared the effects of malnutrition. The war years in Europe and the eruption of famine conditions in other countries have provided the bases for evaluating the effects of caloric insufficiency [and in some cases protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM), and a lesser degree of essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency] on some parameters of brain damage, behavioral change, and intelligence (IQ tests).
KeywordsEssential Fatty Acid Trans Fatty Acid Erucic Acid Brain Lipid Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency
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