Kids Should Take Vitamins, Except When It's Poison. Confused Yet?

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

This is the type of story that makes me crazy (or as my close friends might say, crazier). Take vitamins. Oh, no! Don't take vitamins. Or, stop taking the vitamins and supplements you've been taking and start taking others. Now we learn, elsewhere on the U.S. News website:

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Many healthy U.S. children and teenagers may be popping vitamins and mineral supplements they don't need, researchers report.

...The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend supplemental vitamins for most children over the age of 1. The supplements are recommended for children with chronic diseases, eating disorders, and certain other conditions.

In fact, supplement overdose or poisoning can be an issue, especially in younger (2-to-4-year-olds) children; overdoses can lead to vomiting, or to more serious problems such as kidney or liver damage.

Something similar recently happened to me. In the good old days, we all used to take vitamin C to stop or decrease the severity of winter colds. Then research discovered vitamin C did little or nothing to prevent colds. Last I heard, zinc was the supplement of choice to stop colds. I told my G.P. I was taking zinc and he said, "Not so fast." Apparently the initial studies of zinc showed it does prevent colds, but later studies showed it does not.

My, my. When are they going to find a vitamin or supplement that works and keeps working, study after study?

-- Read more by Bonnie Erbe.

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-- Read more about vitamins.

By Bonnie Erbe