Researchers have discovered that most kids who take vitamins don’t need them.
Vitamins are designed to supplement nutrients that children and adults are supposed to receive through their meals.
Scientists have been generous enough to develop vitamins that allow children and adults to receive an excess of their daily required vitamins and minerals.
But many children receive these essential nutrients through healthy diets and exercise.
Healthy budget = healthy diet
Those who have a greater income are able to afford better food. By contrast, families unable to afford nutritious food are also unable to afford vitamins.
Meanwhile, families able to afford vitamins might be getting their daily vitamins in excess. Perhaps programs could be started to provide children on low budgets with vitamins.
Do vitamins work in the first place?
Researchers are unsure of if vitamins even work in the first place. Current research shows that vitamins and fish oil supplements work well, but the effects of other supplements on health are not conclusive.
But vitamins E and C might not do much to stave off deficiencies. Other vitamins and minerals found in multivitamins lack conclusive proof that they have health benefits.
Potential dangers of vitamins
Iron is the primary reason why care must be taken when using vitamins. Iron overload can lead to hemochromatosis, which is a potentially fatal disease.
Vitamin users can very easily overload with iron if they take more than the recommended dosage. But other supplements without iron can be harmful if taken in excess.
Vitamins A, D, E and K can be potentially fatal. Zinc can cause fatigue in large dosages and can even lead to a heart attack or stroke. Consumers should also be aware that many of our foods are fortified with all sorts of vitamins and minerals.
Minerals like folate can lead to an increased risk of cancer. The most important thing to know is that even these extremely healthy and beneficial nutrients must be taken with moderation. Even water can be fatal if consumed too quickly in too large an amount.
Nutrients that healthy kids need
So what do kids need in order to be really healthy? Children are best off with whole grains, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables like the rest of us. Oatmeal, bananas, and berries work great in the morning.
Vegetable juices are great if kids like them, but fruit juices aren’t any good given the large number of sugars released by juiced fruit. Kids also need fewer fats than adults. All of these classic sources of nutrition are far better assimilated into the diet than a multivitamin.
Sure, it might be tough to get them to eat it all, but you can always find healthy foods that also taste good. Kids like sugary and salty foods because they taste good.
If you load your house with a variety of healthy foods, they can discover that there are some healthy foods they like too. Then be sure that your house is never without them.