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Improving Academic Performance with NUTRITION

No doubt you’ve heard about the many benefits of adequate vitamin and mineral intake, including the prevention of many forms of cancer. But have you heard about what supplementation may do for your children’s grades? Look no further than Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, whose May 2000 issue included a study suggesting that nutrients may raise academic performance in learning-disabled children.

Twenty children participated in a one-year trial of open nutrient administration, followed by a second portion of the trial for those children who demonstrated academic improvement (higher grades and/or being mainstreamed in at least one academic subject) after six months. Thirteen children qualified for phase two of the trial, and were administered specific supplements (magnesium, pyridoxine and ascorbic acid, followed by folic acid, thiamine, manganese and zinc) in subsequent years. Academic improvements were tracked at various points, up to four years from baseline.

Results: All 19 children who completed the first year of treatment (one dropout due to nausea) showed significant academic and behavioral improvements within a few weeks or months of nutritional supplementation. Some children gained 3-5 years of reading comprehension within the first year of treatment; all children in special education classes became mainstreamed; and grades rose significantly. Children who continued supplementation after the first year continued to improve, whereas those who discontinued supplementation showed eventual declines (academic declines after one year without supplementation, lower grades after two years).


Carlton RM, Ente G, Blum L, et al. Rational dosages of nutrients have a prolonged effect on learning disabilities. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, May 2000: Vol. 6, No. 3, pp85-91.

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