For Immediate Release
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
At UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions
UMDNJ and Rutgers Researchers Study the
Impact of Vitamins on School Performance in Children
2/24/05—Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey (UMDNJ) are studying whether taking daily vitamins affects
the academic and behavioral performance of children in third through
Dr. Adam Perlman, executive director of the Institute for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions,
is the principal investigator of the study, which is being done
in collaboration with Rutgers University.
The study, which will continue through June 2005, is being funded
through a $400,000 grant received from The Healthy Foundation's
Better Student Research Initiative.
The 700 students participating in the double-blind randomized study
are enrolled in one of 37 parochial schools in Newark, Jersey City,
Elizabeth, East Orange, Orange, Irvington, Paterson and Passaic.
Half of the students in the study receive a free multivitamin-mineral
supplement every day in school and the other half receive placebo.
At the end of the school year, the researchers will evaluate each
student's standardized test scores, grade point averages,
tardiness, absenteeism, and behavioral issues. Height and weight
data for each child will be collected and some of the students will
fill out a questionnaire about their eating habits. Participating
students will receive free vitamins for one year after the study
Co-investigators for the initiative are Dr. John Worobey and Dr.
Daniel Hoffman, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers
University; Dr. Jeffrey Smith, of the Department of Educational
Psychology at Rutgers University; Dr. Julie O'Sullivan Maillet,
associate dean at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions;
Dr. Riva Touger-Decker, program director of the Graduate Clinical
Nutrition program at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions.
Officials at Tishcon Corporation, of Salisbury, Md., have donated
the multivitamins and placebos for this study. United States Pharmacopia
performed testing of the vitamins for purity and content.
The Healthy Foundation currently provides daily vitamins supplements
to 12,850 children in 40 states who are at risk for malnutrition
and nutrient deficiency, through a public-private partnership called
Vitamin Relief USA.
Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), a sponsor of the federal appropriation
to The Healthy Foundation's research initiative, said, "We
have an obligation to meet the health care needs of America's
inner-city children and I believe this study will provide simple,
low cost solutions to this serious public health issue."
The Healthy Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation, is
committed to improving the health status of children, seniors and
adults through vitamin supplementation. To support The Healthy Foundation
or for further information, please call 877-935-5348 or log onto www.vitaminrelief.org.
--February 24, 2005