Ask The Expert is a weekly column on Littlestomaks.com. The idea is to have a reader-submitted question answered by a nutrition expert or a pediatrician. Feel free to submit your question in the comments section below.
This week, Dr. Douglas Husbands provides an update on nutritional supplements with practical application for the health of your children.
|Douglas Husbands, DC, CCN, ABAAHP|
Question: What is the latest development in nutritional supplements for children?
Hello everyone! I’m delighted for my second opportunity to guest post here. Since I just recently came back from the 2009 International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists Scientific Symposium, I’d like to share some information on nutrition supplements with practical application for the health of your children.
- Adequate to optimal levels of serum vitamin D levels in infants and children (between 30 to 60 ng/ml) are associated with decreased asthma and allergies, better brain development and healthy bone development.
- When visiting your pediatrician or Functional Medicine doctor, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels should be measured.
- It is estimated that between 50,000 to 70,000 deaths per year from various causes could be prevented by having adequate blood vitamin D levels.
- Many infants and children could benefit from supplementing with 1000 to 2000 IU of vitamin D daily, particularly during the winter months, if they cannot tolerate fatty fish, if they are darker skinned, or if their serum vitamin D levels are below 30 ng/ml.
- Probiotics help decrease abnormal intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”.
- The appendix’s function is now known. It is a repository for beneficial bacteria (probiotics) for the GI tract. Supplemental probiotics help replenish the repository after antibiotic use or from use of corticosteroid creams or inhalers.
- Abnormal intestinal permeability allows gut-derived antigen exposure to the bloodstream; thereby distant, seemingly unassociated autoimmune symptoms can arise from a “leaky gut”.
- Due to immature GI tract development, it is best that infants are breastfed for at least his/her first 12 months.
- Many pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers would do well to supplement with the probiotic strain Lactobacillus GG (aka Lactobacillus rhamnosus) at a dose of 4 billion/day and Vitamin D3 at a dose of 4000 IU/day for potentially decreasing likelihood of asthma, eczema, allergies, type 1 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders in their babies.
- Curcumin, a component of turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties to inhibit inflammatory mediators, exhibiting therapeutic potential in asthma (and other inflammatory disorders)
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