Functional effects of food: what do we know in children?
Sommaire de l'article
The knowledge base underpinning the setting of nutrient requirements for children and adolescents is not very secure. The advent of the concepts of optimal nutrition and functional foods has encouraged the possible use of functional effects as criteria for adequate nutrition in this age group. Target functions have been identified for growth development and differentiation and for behavioural and cognitive development. However, ideal markers or effects for these are not generally available. Additionally, nutrition in young people should avoid predisposing them to diet-related disease in later life. It is suggested that functional effects should include markers of reduction of risks of disease (nutritional safety) as well of benefits for health and well-being. Such markers of functional effects should be expected to arise from fundamental studies of nutrient-gene interactions and post-genomic metabolism.