For growing children, the importance of a good diet to keep them active and healthy is well known. But does it make a difference in how well they learn? According to researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla , California it does. Ronald evans is part of a group investigating the effects of vitamin A on learning. The researchers for the first time were able to link a nutrient with the ability to learn. "And what we discovered is an important role for vitamin A in learning and memory. These are the most important functions for both children and adults in trying to process information just to learn and to remember," said Evans. For this test, Evans looked at two groups of mice to see how well they learned. One group received a normal nutritious diet. The other had vitamin A removed entirely from its food. The learning was tested by putting the mice in a pool of cloudy water. Mice are good swimmers, but, they do not like water. Normal mice can soon learn the location of a submerged platform. Evans said, "Now what we found is as the mice become deprived of vitamin A, that progressively they are unable to perform this learning task and eventually they are unable to learn at all." But, the researchers found this effect was only temporary. As soon as the vitamin A was restored to the food, the ability to learn returned. Evans thinks this discovery could someday lead to therapies for memory robbing illnesses like alzheimer's.