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Foetal Nutrients

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is aware of the research on lipid nutrients involved in brain growth at the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine; and if, in view of its implications for perinatal care, he will provide funds for increased research in this area;(2) what research is being undertaken into foods which will assist foetal brain growth.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd May 1977; Vol. 932, c. 329], gave the following information:I am aware of the research at the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine. Other work in this field is being undertaken by Professor Dobbing at Manchester under a programme grant from the Medical Research Council, from support provided by the Health Departments and the Department of Education and Science, on vulnerable periods in the developing brain. Other projects are in progress in the universities and medical schools, and I understand that the Child Poverty Action Group is to finance a research project which includes work on food intake during pregnancy from the perspective of the lipid content of foods.Government research in this field would normally fall to be undertaken by the MRC whether or not it is commissioned by a Health Department. I have no present plans to ask the MRC to include further work in this field in its programme but it will always consider specific proposals submitted to it by researchers.