Novel Food Supplement to Improve Cognitive Function in Children Exposed to Undernutrition damage


Undernutrition in childhood causes permanent damage to cognitive function, but due to substantial ongoing changes in brain development nutritional supplementation may promote regenerative improvements. A Tufts University investigator and their team have developed a novel multi-component food supplement called NEWSUP. NEWSUP has demonstrated the ability to significantly improve body composition and working memory in at-risk nutrient deficient children.



Current fortified foods used in food assistance programs have a limited subset of vitamins and minerals. These fortified foods are only designed to include nutrients that prevent the extreme cases of deficiency syndromes and death. Further, certain nutrients that are deemed to be essential, like neurotransmitter precursors, are often not included in the available fortified foods. There is mounting evidence that the micronutrient and protein composition are inadequate in promoting brain and body health.



NEWSUP is a novel multi-component supplementary food that is formulated with all aspects of a growing child in mind. Unlike current fortified foods, the novel composition includes a wider panel of essential nutrients like polyphenol-rich cocoa, green tea, moringa, omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, and choline. NEWSUP also has a greater protein content and micronutrient fortification than a fortified blended foods (FBF) used in current nutrition programs.




NEWSUP was tested in a 23-week trial in children aged 15 months to seven years old, in a rural village of Guinea-Bissau (NCT03017209). Among children younger than 4, NEWSUP increased working memory (P=0.03), increased hemoglobin concentration (P=0.003), and increased lean tissue accretion (P=0.046) in comparison to the control group. Cognitive function was measured via  a cerebral blood flow index (CBFi) and cerebral oxygen metabolism index (CMRO) at four areas in the prefrontal cortex. In comparison to the FBF and control groups, NEWSUP significantly improved both measures (figure). These results support that nutritional supplementation can improve cognitive function in young children at-risk of undernutrition.



•Nutritional programs in low- and middle-income counties

•Diets of children in affluent countries consuming unhealthy foods

•Diets for the elderly with inadequate nutrition and cognitive impairment


IP STATUS  US Patent pending 16/068,529.


Licensing Contact

Emma Anderson