Healthy Tips Pediatric

Choosing the Right Multivitamin for Your Children

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From the Flintstones to the Gummi Bears, cartoon vitamins may seem like a fun,
easy way to encourage children to take nutritional supplements. But do they give
your child the nutrients they truly need? Children have a greater need for
proper and more complete nutrition than do adults. Proper nutrition is vital for
the development of teeth, bones and muscles, as well as neuro-cognitive,
immune-system and many other important functions.

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What’s wrong with cartoon vitamins? They contain synthetic vitamins, inadequate
minerals, as well as binders, preservatives and sugar – some of the very items
we need the supplements to combat in the first place! We need to provide our
kids with the kind of nutritional supplements informed adults demand:

* All-natural, with no synthetic chemical nutrients.

* Derived from whole foods.

* Complete and balanced formula, meaning they should contain at least the 25
FDA-recommended nutrients, preferably more.

* Good taste to ensure compliance, but without added sugar. Liquids are best, as
they absorb better and the dosing can be modified depending on the child’s size
and needs.

* Need to contain the full spectrum of organic trace minerals.

Children have a great need for diets rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
to combat free-radical damage. It is absolutely a must for them to strengthen
their armor with a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in
processed foods and sugars. Then, we must augment that effort with the very best
supplements available. Our kids deserve better health than their parents, but
unless we do something, they are fighting an uphill battle.

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Healthy Tips

Enhancing your diet

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Conventional wisdom has long held that as long as people who are healthy eat well enough to avoid specific nutritional deficiencies, they don’t need to supplement their diet. The only thing they have to do is consume a diet that meets the RDAs Recommended Dietary Allowances — and other guidelines for vitamin and mineral intakes developed by health agencies of the federal government.

But even if one accepts the government’s standards for vitamin and mineral intakes as adequate for good health, the evidence is overwhelming that most people don’t come close to meeting those nutritional requirements. Surveys show that only 9% of Americans eat five daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables — the amount recommended for obtaining the minimum level of nutrients believed necessary to prevent illness.

Average calcium consumption in the United States and Canada is estimated to be about 60% of the current suggested level of 1,000 mg for younger adults — and far below the 1,200 mg recommended for men and women ages 50 to 70.

According to a review of national data by experts at the University of California, Berkeley, people often make food choices that are nutritionally poor: For example, they are more likely to select french fries than broccoli as a vegetable serving, and will opt for a soft drink rather than a glass of skim milk as a beverage. Not only may these and other foods contribute too much fat and sugar to your diet, but they can also result in less-than-optimal intakes of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Many American diets, these experts point out, contain half the recommended amounts of magnesium and folic acid. Vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as iron and zinc, are other nutrients that surveys show are at notably low levels in the American diet.

Even with the best nutritional planning, it is difficult to maintain a diet that meets the RDAs for all nutrients. For example, vegetarians, who as a group are healthier than meat eaters (and who tend to avoid junk foods lacking in vitamins and minerals), still may be deficient in some nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. And most people who want to maintain a healthy low-fat diet will have a problem obtaining the recommended amounts of vitamin E from their food alone, because so many of the food sources for vitamin E are high in fat. Another complication is that a balanced diet may not contain the more specialized substances — fish oils, soy isoflavones, or alpha-lipoic acid — that researchers think may promote health. For generally healthy people who cannot always eat a well-balanced diet every day, a supplement can fill in these nutritional gaps or boost the nutrients they consume from adequate to optimal.

There are various other reasons why people who maintain good eating habits might benefit from a daily supplement. Some experts now believe that exposure to environmental pollutants — from car emissions to industrial chemicals and wastes — can cause damage in myriad ways inside the body at the cellular level, destroying tissues and depleting the body of nutrients. Many supplements, particularly those that act as antioxidants, can help control the cell and tissue damage that follows toxic exposure . Recent evidence also indicates that certain medications, excess alcohol, smoking, and persistent stress may interfere with the absorption of certain key nutrients. And even an excellent diet would be unable to make up for such a shortfall.

Source:Your Guide to
Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs


Preventing disease, slowing aging

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For many years, it was thought that a lack of nutrients was linked only to specific deficiency diseases such as scurvy, a condition marked by soft gums and loose teeth that is caused by too little vitamin C. In the past three decades, however, thousands of scientific studies have all indicated that specific nutrients appear to play an important role in the prevention of a number of chronic, degenerative diseases common in contemporary Western societies.

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Many recent studies highlighting the disease-fighting potential of different nutrients . What most of these studies reveal is that the level of nutrients associated with disease prevention is often significantly higher than the current RDAs. And to achieve these higher levels, the participants in these studies often had to depend on supplements.

In slowing or preventing the development of disease, some experts suggest that nutrients, particularly the antioxidants, can also delay the wear and tear of aging itself by reducing the damage done to cells. This idea doesn’t mean vitamin E or coenzyme Q10, for example, are”youth potions.” But several recent studies, including work done at the Nutritional Immunological Laboratory at Tufts University, have found that supplementation with single nutrients, such as vitamin E, or with multivitamin and mineral supplements, appear to improve immune response among older people.

For example, a study of 11,178 elderly subjects, conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Aging, showed that the use of vitamin E was associated with a lowered risk of total mortality, and especially of death from heart disease. In fact, vitamin E users were only half as likely to die of heart disease as those taking no supplements. In addition, there is evidence that antioxidant supplements are effective in lowering the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two age-related conditions in which vision slowly deteriorates.

Other supplements that serve as high-potency antioxidants against aging disorders include selenium, carotenoids, flavonoids, certain amino acids, and coenzyme Q10. Some experts also believe that the herb ginkgo biloba may improve many age-related symptoms, especially those involving reduced blood flow, such as dizziness, impotence, and short-term memory loss. Substances found in echinacea and other herbs are reported to strengthen the immune system, and phytoestrogens such as soy isoflavones are thought to help delay or prevent some of the effects of menopause, as well as to help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Too Many Beneifits: Too Good to Be True?

When you see a supplement label that lists a variety of functions and benefits for a single herb or substance, you might wonder if this is more marketing hype than facts. You can’t rely entirely on label claims, because they aren’t scrutinized for accuracy by the government or any other agency. But as you will see in reading the entries in this book, some supplements do have multiple effects that are well documented.

Consider an herb such as green tea. According to many studies, its benefits may include helping control several cancers, including colon and pancreatic cancer; protecting against heart disease; inhibiting the action of bacteria; combating tooth decay; and acting as an antioxidant to bolster the immune system. All of these benefits aren’t too surprising, given that researchers have identified various active components in green tea.

You should be aware that many common medications were initially developed for one purpose. As more people take the drugs and their effects are studied, new uses come to light. Imagine a drug that can cure headaches, relieve arthritis, help prevent heart disease, ease the pain of athletic injuries, and reduce the risk of colon cancer. It’s aspirin, of course — and its precursor came from an herbal source, the bark of the white willow tree.

Source:Your Guide to
Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs