The normal functioning of our brains depend on certain micronutrients* and they should be obtained from the diet. For example, various B vitamins determine how well the nervous system functions. Vitamins B-6 and B-12 are needed for neurotransmitter production. As well, B-12 can delay the signs of dementia in the elderly and also prevent some cognitive changes in adolescents. Vitamins C and D are important in the brain. Alpha tocopherol vitamin E is actively absorbed by the brain and protects the membranes of the nervous system.
Mineral micronutrients are important to the nervous system. Iron is needed to produce neurotransmitters and myelin. Also, dietary deficiency of copper may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause severe cerebral dysfunction in the fetus (Cretinism).
CONCLUSION: Dietary deficiencies of micronutrients may be associated with dysfunction of the nervous system, and can be remedied to some extent by improving dietary intake.
NOTES: *Micronutrients are chemicals or minerals which are needed in only small amounts, but those small amounts are necessary for normal brain function and should be included in the diet.
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