What Vitamins and Supplements Should My Child Take?
I was trained in medical school (we had 2 weeks of nutrition training back in the mid 1980’s in medical school), that your diet will provide all the nutrients you need and that vitamins are a waist of time and money and may even do more harm than good. Nothing could be further from the truth, but sadly many doctors still view vitamins and supplements with that same ignorant and arrogant viewpoint. Tell that to the 9 month old baby recently in my practice who was floppy, had no eye contact and had daily seizures despite multiple seizure medications, all resolved by giving B-12. As it turned out, that was surprisingly deficient in that baby. Tell that to the thousands who suffer due to vitamin D levels at historically low levels, or the autistic children who improve with just nutritional and vitamin/supplement interventions. Our diet (food chain) is no longer providing all the nutrients, vitamins, and trace elements needed for healthy cellular function. This blog is a very brief introduction to what I would consider a few essential additions to everyone’s health plan.
#1 Vitamin D– Everyone living away from the equator, walking outside with clothes on, likely has Vitamin D levels that are less than optimal. Current recommendations are not adequate. I recommend from birth to 40 lbs (20 Kg) take 1000 IU a day. Adults should take 5000 IU a day.
#2 Multivitamins/Minerals- If this doesn’t include methyl-B12 and methyl-folate, magnesium, zinc, and calcium, then add those also.
#3 Fish oil (purified omega-3)- Sadly, our fish are universally contaminated with toxic levels of mercury and pesticides. The larger the fish, generally the higher the levels of toxins. Most farm-raised fish are particularly high in pesticides and may be exposed to a lot of antibiotics.
#4 Probiotics- I would start during the last trimester of pregnancy (if you have access to high-quality, studied probiotics for this use) then again at birth, and continue probiotics for the first 6 months of life, as well as any time there are health issues or antibiotics are used, and possibly continuously.
#5 Vitamin C- Linus Pauling (Nobel prize winner) brought the lack of Vitamin C in humans to our attention. Animals all make vitamin C, we do not. It is a huge boost to the immune system. If you are eating lots of fresh organic citrus and cantaloupe, etc., you may not need any. For most though, taking Vitamin C can help.
There are so many more for special circumstances and my blogs to follow will list each individually and go into more depth. If you can only take one thing, start with Vitamin D. Our bodies only make this vitamin when sunlight hits the skin. The further from the equator, the darker your skin, the less you make. Move down the list in order if you can take more than one thing. I carry all of this in my office and will soon have links on my web site for a great place to order top-quality vitamins and supplements. www.drpaul.md