“Time to take your multivitamin.”
Have you ever heard yourself say something along this line to your children? If so, you are not alone. In fact, most parents give their children a daily multivitamin, but there are many issues that may arise from the supplement(s) you choose. For example;
These issues can lead to an important question: are your kids’ multivitamins harming their health?
First of all, often times parents do not realize that almost all vitamin formulas sold in the market today come from laboratory manufactured versions of nutrients that occur naturally in foods. The difference is, real foods contain both vitamin, minerals (in their most acceptable forms) and nutrient co-factors that help these nutrients do what they are designed to do – support optimal health.
Contrary to belief, too much of the wrong form of vitamins can have negative side effects. Don’t forget, many packaged food items have synthetically-derived vitamins and minerals added to them, yet parents are often unaware of this fact. As a result, parents may underestimate how many of these unnatural forms of vitamins and minerals their children are getting and give them even more unnatural multivitamins as a substitute, leading their children to mega dose on man-made nutrients their little bodies don’t know what to do with.
Vitamins and minerals found in and consumed from natural foods contain ingredients that are even misunderstood by scientists (i,e, the nutrient co-factors mentioned above). Even if scientists knew of every single substance that makes up a food item in nature, it does not necessarily mean they would know how to put that substance into a nutritional supplement (multivitamin). Therefore, with this in mind, it is best for children to receive their nutrients from the natural foods they eat rather than a manufactured multivitamin, that is unless you can actually find a multivitamin made 100% from real foods!
Obviously multivitamins should never be a substitute for real wholesome food (not junk food), as the right kind is made as a supplement, in order to supplement an already well designed diet. Children should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, and if they do, they will be one step ahead when it comes to doing everything they do – better!
In a study done by the National Institute of Health, researchers found that multivitamins and supplements did not have any effect on chronic disease whereas eating an overall healthy diet along with regularly engaging in physical activity had the strong potential to reduce chronic diseases. What is most interesting about this and other studies, is the researchers always use synthetically-derived vitamin formulas rather than ones made of real food.
So, back to the main question, are your kids’ multivitamins harming their health? If taken in the wrong forms it is possible. In a perfect world, kids eating a healthy balanced diet should be getting everything they need from their daily diet. Unfortunately we do not live in the perfect world, so always look to real food derived multi vitamin formula when it comes to giving your child the extra nutritional insurance their body craves.
Nutrition and Healthy Eating. October 18, 2014. Mayo Clinic.
Vitamin Supplements Vs. Food. 2017. My Food Diary.
What Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Can and Can’t Do. 2017. WebMD.