The US Congress has approved the funding for new research into the effects of giving American school children a daily multivitamin supplement.
The $500,000 funding was granted to The Healthy Foundation of Murrieta, California, which will carry out the research later this year. The aim is to see whether there is any improvement in academic performance and behaviour among several thousand at-risk American schoolchildren given low-dose vitamin-mineral supplementation.
The Healthy Foundation said it currently provides daily vitamins to over 5,000 children from low-income families at 87 sites in 33 states. Its national initiative, called Vitamin Relief USA-Children First, is a public private partnership that distributes daily children's chewable multivitamin/mineral supplements to children at risk of malnutrition and nutrient deficiency.
Hyla Cass, MD, president of The Healthy Foundation said: "Our mission is to improve the health status and quality of life of the at-risk children in our nation. By catching them early, we are very likely saving these children from a lifetime of underachievement - and worse. Vitamins not only help them perform better academically, but they also promote normal growth and development to their full mental and physical capabilities. With more public and private funding, this programme, over time, will result in a safer, healthier and more productive America."