Top Recommended Supplements for Pediatric Health
Magnesium is an abundant mineral used in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium is involved in energy production, muscle contraction, blood glucose control, nerve function, and protein synthesis. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve hyperactivity and behavioral symptoms in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Further, magnesium may help with insomnia by improving sleep efficiency, sleep time, and sleep onset latency. Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds (e.g., almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds), cocoa, spinach, black beans, and avocado.
The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of magnesium by age group are:
Birth to 6 months: 30 mg
7–12 months: 75 mg
1–3 years: 80 mg
4–8 years: 130 mg
9–13 years: 240 mg
Boys 14–18 years: 410 mg
Girls 14–18 years: 360 mg
Top magnesium supplements on Fullscript:
Read more about the health benefits of magnesium here.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While the body is able to synthesize these fatty acids from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the conversion is limited, which makes dietary intake or supplementation of preformed EPA and DHA important. Clinical research suggests that EPA and DHA supplementation may improve attention, behavior, and literacy in children. High amounts of EPA and DHA are found in cod liver oil and fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies.
Top pediatric Omega-3 fatty acid supplements on Fullscript:
Learn more about healthy fats on the Fullscript blog.
Did you know that an infant’s first exposure to microorganisms occurs at birth? The microbial population of the gastrointestinal tract, known as the gut microbiota, includes bacteriophages, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. The gut microbiota assists in absorbing nutrients, modulating the immune system, defending the body against pathogens, and supporting gut health. Probiotics can be obtained from fermented foods or dietary supplements. Examples of probiotic-rich fermented foods include yogurt, fermented vegetables (e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut, unpasteurized pickles), and fermented soy (e.g. tempeh, miso). Supplementation with probiotics in children has been shown to decrease body mass index in obese children and improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, diarrhea, and intestinal colic.
Top pediatric probiotic supplements on Fullscript:
Learn more about probiotic supplements here.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is well known for its antioxidant actions. It assists in iron absorption, facilitates the conversion of cholesterol to bile salts, and is used as a co-factor in synthesizing amino acids and certain hormones. Vitamin C-rich foods include peppers, citrus fruit, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to help relieve cold symptoms and reduce the duration of colds in children.
The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of vitamin C by age group are: Birth to 6 months: 40 mg Infants 7-12 months: 50 mg Children 1-3 years: 15 mg Children 4-8 years: 25 mg Children 9-13 years: 45 mg Boys 14-18 years: 75 mg Girls 14-18 years: 65 mg
Top vitamin C supplements on Fullscript:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin synthesized in the skin from exposure to sunlight. Research suggests that approximately 40% of children have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D. Adequate vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium and phosphorus in the intestinal tract and a deficiency of this vitamin can result in rickets and growth retardation in children. Dietary sources include oily fish, such as salmon, herring, and mackerel, and fortified foods, such as milk, juices, cheeses, and yogurt. Vitamin D supplementation may be required if needs are not met from sun exposure and dietary intake.
The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of vitamin D by age group are: Birth to 12 months 400 IU Children 1-13 years 600 IU Teens 14-18 years 600 IU
Top pediatric vitamin D supplements on Fullscript:
If you’ve been working with Dr. Lain you’ll know that her favorite immune support is Berry Well Immune by Vital Nutrients. Her favorite allergy support is D-Hist Jr by Ortho-molecular supplements. As always, for prevention the dose is 1x/day. You up to 3x/day for the first signs of infection or when “something is going around.” The D-hist you will increase to 3x/day during allergy season.
For more information on pediatric nutrition and health, view the USDA nutrition resources for children here.
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I hope you found this informative and helpful, and am wishing you a very happy and healthy Pediatric Health Month!