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Vitamin B1-Deficient Infant Formula Associated With Poor Motor Skills

When it comes to your child’s health, proper nutrition is paramount. This was demonstrated recently in research published in Maternal & Child Nutrition, which found that infants fed a vitamin B1 (thiamine)-deficient formula early in life were at risk of motor development problems as they grew older. The study included 39 children, ages 5 to 6, who had been fed a faulty thiamine-deficient formula during their first two years of life. The study also included 30 healthy children of the same age, who hadn’t been fed the faulty formula. Researchers used two movement assessment tests to evaluate the children’s motor development, and found that those who had received the thiamine-deficient formula had significantly less-developed motor function, especially when it came to balance and fine motor skills, compared with those who hadn’t received the faulty formula.

This research shows the important role thiamine plays in children’s motor development and the long-term consequences of early deficiency. Breastfeeding for at least one year, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, can help ensure your baby is properly nourished. However, if breastfeeding isn’t an option for you, commercially available infant formulas generally supply the nutrients they need. In the US, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition regulates infant formula manufacturing and sets minimum and maximum nutrient specifications to ensure that these formulas provide adequate and safe levels of critical nutrients. If you have questions about which formula is right for your baby, talk with your child’s pediatrician.

Maternal & Child Nutrition

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