Nutrient deficiencies are prevalent among children. There are many long-term issues stemming from lack of nutrients including: anemia, rickets, goiter, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cancer. A poor diet also affects physical and cognitive development. During the past few decades food choices have changed. Children are consuming too much saturated fat and concentrated sweets. They don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Coupled with insufficient exercise, children are a target for early disease.
How Serious are Nutritional Deficiencies?
“Almost two-thirds of deaths of young children around the world are related to nutritional deficiencies.” “The most common nutrient deficiencies among school children are: calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E.”1
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and is needed for proper development of strong bones. Bones are living tissue and are in a constant state of turnover, making new deposits and removing old. It is also required for nerve transmission, vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, and hormone signals. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 700 mg for ages one to three, 1,000 mg ages four to eight, and 1,300 mg ages nine to eighteen. Dairy and green vegetables, along with a variety of other foods, provide dietary calcium.
The National Institutes of Medicine recommend a daily intake of at least 25-35 grams of fiber. But, the Harvard University School of Public Health reveals that the average American consumes less than 15 grams of fiber per day. Fiber is necessary for cleansing the bowel, lowering bad cholesterol, and maintaining blood sugar levels. Replace fiberless white flour with whole grains to increase fiber intake. Because meat, eggs, cheese, and dairy don’t contain fiber, eat an abundance of vegetables for including fiber with each meal. Choose fresh fruit as a snack, avoiding refined fiberless sugars.
Folate is a B vitamin necessary for cell division and making DNA. Consuming sufficient folate during pregnancy is critical for proper genetic development of the growing baby. Folate aids in proper brain development in growing child as well. The RDA for folate is 150 mcg ages one to three, 200 mcg ages four to eight, 300 mcg ages nine to thirteen, and 400 mcg age fourteen and over.
Iron is a critical component of blood. See the post Blood Quality for details. The RDA for iron is 7 mg for ages one to three, 10 mg ages four to eight, 8 mg ages nine to thirteen, 11 mg for males ages fourteen to eighteen, 15 mg for females ages fourteen to eighteen, 11 mg for males nineteen and older, 18 mg for females nineteen and older, 8 mg for all those over age fifty one.
Magnesium is vital for proper bone formation, energy production, gene maintenance, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Magnesium is necessary in hundreds of bodily functions. The RDA for magnesium is 80 mg ages one to three, 130 mg ages four to eight, 240 mg ages nine to thirteen, 410 mg males age fourteen to eighteen, 360 mg for females.
Potassium is a mineral which carries an electrical charge (electrolyte). It regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood. Sodium and potassium must be properly balanced for healthy development. See the post Hcl for Strong Digestion to learn more about this important balance.The RDA for potassium is 3,000 mg for ages one to three, 3,800 mg ages four to eight, 4,500 mg ages nine to thirteen, 4,700 mg for those fourteen and older.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. It aids in the function and maintenance of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. Vitamin E aids in forming red blood cells. The RDA for Vit. E is 6 mg (9 IU) for ages one to three, 7 mg (10.4 IU) ages four to eight , 11 mg (16.4 IU) ages nine to thirteen, 15 mg (22.4 IU) age fourteen and over.
Biotics Research provides excellent high quality nutritional supplements. A multiple vitamin and mineral supplement is a wise investment in the future of all children. Bless the children in your life with a quality nutritional supplement program.