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Mucuna pruriens (Dolichos pruriens) as nutritional supplement and cognitive enhancer in children

Author: 
Ricardo Silva, Leila Prias, Leonado Vargas, Glenda Sarmiento, Andrea Vargas, Vicente Painii, Ana Zambrano, Oswaldo Pesantes and Rafael Castaño
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Mucunapruriens (MP) has been used in the Indian system of traditional medicine (Ayurveda). MP has been proposed as a cognitive enhancer and nutritional supplement due to the high nutritional value and low cost. The object of this study was to access nutritional supplement (NS) and cognitive enhancement (CE) qualities of MP in a group of school children aged 6-9 years from marginal urban area of the City of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The universe consisted of 51, school children 6-9 years old, out of a total school population of 120 students. A pediatric assessment was performed at the school through medical history, anthropometric measurements, and auscultation of vital organs. Blood count, glucose, total protein physico-chemical urine tests were performed. Nutritional supplement studies were sustained for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, analyzes were repeated by pediatric MD. The Bender-Koppitz Test was selected to measure the maturity level of visual-motor perception in the students. Prior to intervention, children manifested impulsive aggressive behavior and lacked the capacity to plan. After the intervention both attention and cognitive adjustment tended to improve in the population. MP supplementation proves as a potential candidate for both nutritional and cognitive supplementation.

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