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An Essential Component to Help Support Your Child’s IQ and EQ

Without a doubt, parents delight in seeing their children grow into healthy, emotionally balanced and clever individuals. Watching your young child deftly operating a smart device with little or no instruction is nothing short of amazing!

Which raises a few questions: How do you provide the best support throughout your child’s critical development stage? What does it take to help enhance your child’s intellectual and emotional intelligence (IQ & EQ)?

As brain development is influenced by both cognitive and emotional advancement, the answer lies in essential nutrients, in addition to a healthy and stimulating environment, to support brain development!

The right nutrients, the right time

As a learned mum and dad, you know that giving your child a diet enriched with vital nutrients such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), Choline, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Zinc contribute to their overall mental and physical development. Indeed, these not only meet your child’s unique growing needs to achieve full growth potential, but also promote mental development later in their lives1,2. They are especially important in the early stages of your child’s development.

Did you know that the brain almost triples in size in the first two years alone, reaching approximately 80-90% of adult weight3,4? During this time, the brain undergoes rapid development, building the foundation for cognitive and emotional advancement that will carry on to adulthood. It then slows down as your child enters childhood and into adolescence5.

Understanding how your child develops empowers you to provide them with the right balance of nutrients, which includes protein, carbohydrate, lipid and micronutrients, at the appropriate stages. For instance, adequate dietary lipid intake is crucial in the myelination process, will protect neurons and help conduct signals more efficiently as your child grow.6

Upping the ante: IQ and EQ

Thanks to significant findings in studies on cow’s milk, you can help your child meet these essential nutrient requirements with ease. As a result of substantial innovations in nutrition for children, benefits in milk formula have taken a leap forward following the inclusion of DHA. Now, it’s enhanced with a brain nutrient, Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM).

But what exactly is MFGM and how does it contribute to your child’s intellectual and emotional development?

Secreted from mammary glands such as those of lactating cows, MFGM is a bioactive compound made up of a complex system of polar lipids, cholesterol, proteins and glycoproteins7. Whilst each of these components have its nutritional role, Sphingomyelin (SM) and Gangliosides (GGs), which are types of phospholipids are particularly important for brain development8.

Found abundantly in the brain, Sphingomyelin and Gangliosides are known to promote myelination and synaptic transmissions8,9. What this means is that they work to ‘pad up’ the nerve cells within the brain, helping them to become more stable and to transmit information faster.

Not only that. MFGM has also indicated a significant role in the upkeep of gut health, mainly through their capability to actively fight diseases and support the immune system8. This is seen in a study where children supplemented with MFGM showed fewer feverish episodes, among others, compared to their counterparts10!

Working in synergy with DHA

Now, together with DHA (an equally important brain nutrient), MFGM and DHA not only work to boost physical growth and health; they are also invaluable in driving your child’s IQ11 and EQ10 development.

Moreover, in addition to brain nutrients such as MFGM and DHA, your child’s environment also plays a great role in their mental and emotional progress. How the brain is “wired” is influenced by what your child learns through their senses and experiences with the outside world12. Research shows that adequate stimulation,particularly during early childhood, can boost your child’s ability to learn and regulate emotions; setting the foundation for later successes13.

In that, you can also help further your child’s development process by encouraging activities that stimulate the brain such as reading, playing with puzzles and educational toys, and even having simple conversations whenever you can14.

To learn more about MFGM and how your child can enhance their overall mental and emotional development, speak to your pediatrician today!


Read this article in Bahasa Malaysia here.

1Black RE, Victora CG, Walker SP, Bhutta ZA, Christian P, de Onis M, Ezzati M, Grantham-McGregor S, Katz J, Martorell R, Uauy R: Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet 2013, 382: 427-451
2Eilander, A. et al. Multiple micronutrient supplementation for improving cognitive performance in children: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr, 2009, 91(1):115-130
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9Schengrund, CL. Gangliosides: glycosphingolipids essential for normal neural development and function. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 2015, 40(7):397-406
10Veereman-Wauters, G. et al. Milk fat globule membrane (INPULSE) enriched formula milk decreases febrile episodes and may improve behavioral regulation in young children. Nutrition, 2012, 28(7-8):749-752
11Kuratko, C.N. et al. 2013. The relationship of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) with learning and behavior in healthy children: A review. Nutrients, 5(7), 2777-2810.
12Shonkoff JP et al. From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. National Academy of Sciences. 2000.
13Young, M. and Richardson, L. Early Child Development from Measurement to Action: A Priority for Growth and Equity. 2007.
14Abedin, S. Brain-Boosting Activities for Your Preschooler.

Toddler (1-3 years)