Ever Heard of Sphingomyelin? It’s Great To Support Children’s Brain Development!

Children learn and develop the most in their childhood years. In fact, it is said that whatever experiences a child has gone through up to the age of 8 has a big impact on his future health, learning and life success¹. 

7 min read

Everyone is born unique, but the one thing that we all have in common is that we are born ready to learn. Our brain grows the fastest from before birth until early childhood¹, so it is crucial to nurture a child’s mind in their toddlerhood years.



Amazing facts about brain growth:


  • A human’s brain starts out being roughly a quarter of the size of the average adult brain2.
  • It doubles the size in toddlerhood and keeps growing to about 80% of the adult size in the next two years2.
  • By the age of 5, a child’s brain size is nearly full-grown, at about 90% of the adult size2.


How Does the Brain Work?


The brain is the command centre of the human body. It comprises different parts - each responsible for different abilities such as movement, language and emotions. We are born with all the brain cells (neurons) that we will need for the rest of our lives and the connection between these cells is what makes our brain work. We are able to move, think and communicate because of these brain connections.


Understanding Brain Connections


Children develop brain connections through everyday experiences. This is why positive reactions are crucial for growing children. The brain connections built in the early years have a big impact on more important, higher-level abilities that are needed as they grow older, such as motivation, self-regulation, problem solving and communication.


Have you noticed how your little one reacts when you pay 100% attention to them? Just talking and playing with them can help them build their confidence and encourage them to play and explore even more. Playing and exploring together with your child is a very helpful way to develop and discover your child’s skills and interests, too. Their positive reactions when you read, sing and play with them is a result of a healthy brain development.


Supporting Children’s Brain Development


Parents of growing children are always on the lookout for the appropriate nutrients for their little ones, especially when it comes to brain development. So, how can you further support your child’s brain development? Well, there is one thing that’s been the talk of the (parenthood) town these days, and it’s called sphingomyelin.

A quick search in the dictionary will tell you that sphingomyelin is “a substance which occurs widely in brain and nervous tissue, consisting of complex phosphoryl derivatives of sphingosine and choline”.


Too complex? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you.


One of the three major factors that guides brain development is myelination. Myelination is a process where a substance called myelin, that’s made up of fatty lipids and proteins, coats the nerve fibre (where messages get transmitted between neurons) in the brain³. This particular “coating” is called the myelin sheath, whereby its integral component is a phospholipid called sphingomyelin.


The sphingomyelin-rich myelin sheath.


Phospholipids are key components for neural structure and brain signalling4-6.


To put it simply, sphingomyelin is the building block of myelination and supports children’s learning 4/7/8.


Interesting myelination facts:


  • Myelination has been linked with cognitive and motor skills9-11.
  • Myelination speeds up neuron connections, which may benefit a child’s cognitive development12-14.


Nutrients That Enhance Children’s Potential


Sphingomyelin helps brain connections by 10x faster* and is one of the fundamental nutrients that supports children’s brain development.


*vs unmyelinated neuron.


If you want your little one to experience the goodness of sphingomyelin, we have great news for you. Sphingomyelin is now available in children's growing up milk formula formula S-26 GOLD PROGRESS


S-26 GOLD PROGRESS is now formulated with innovative ingredients to provide our most advanced formulated milk powder for children.


S-26 GOLD PROGRESS is specially formulated with sphingomyelin, DHA, 2’-FL and oligofructose. Support your child’s growth with appropriate nutrition and sufficient rest to help him Think Quick and Learn Fast.




  3. Salzer JL, Zalc B.Curr Biol. 2016;26:R971-R975.
  4. Henríquez-Henríquez MP, Solari S, Quiroga T, Kim BI, Deckelbaum RJ, Worgall TS. Front Neurosci. 2015;9:300.
  5. Quarles RH, Macklin WB, Morell. American Society for Neurochemistry 2006:p.51-71.
  6. Martínez M, Mougan I. J Neurochem. 1998;71(6):2528-33.
  7. Tanaka K, Hosozawa M, Kudo N, et al. Brain Dev. 2013;35(1):45-52.
  8. Deoni S, Dean D 3rd, Joelson S, O’Regan J, Schneider N. Neuroimage. 2018;178:649-59.
  9. Schmithorstet al., 2005; Deoniet al., 2016; Chevalier et al., 2015; Buchelet al., 2004; Catani et al., 2007; O'Muircheartaighet al., 2013; nagyet al., 2004; Beaulieu et al., 2005; Short et al., 2013; Turkenet al., 2008; Bartzokiset al., 2010.
  10. Martinez & Mougan1998; Kinney et al., 1994; Don et al., 2014; Tanaka et al., 2013; Bentejacet al., 1988 & 1989; Oshidaet al., 2003; Vickers et al., 2009; Gustavssonet al., 2010; Stiles & Jernigan. 2010; Prado & Dewey 2014.
  12. LinderkampO et al (2009).Int. J. ; 21: 4–16.
  13. Deoni, S.C et al (2016).Brain Structure Function; 221:1189-1203.
  14. Chevalier, N et al (2015).PLOS One:


DISCLAIMER: The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Due to unique individual needs, the reader should consult health professional to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader's situation.