Choosing a Children's Chewable Multivitamin
From Dr. Fuhrman's book Disease Proof Your Child:
- Look for one without vitamin A--vitamin A intake leads to calcium loss in the urine and osteoporosis.1 We make all the vitamin A we need from the carotenes found in fruits and vegetables.
- A children's supplement should not have more than 2,500 IU of beta-carotene, but even less is better. It is best to receive carotenes from food, not supplements. Studies looking a beta-carotene supplementation show a higher rate of both cancer and heart disease in those supplemented with a high a dose of beta-carotene.2
- It should contain the full spectrum of minerals.
- It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and artificial sweeteners.
- It must taste acceptable to your children, as it does no good if your child refuses to take it.
There is also a podcast episode on children's vitamins.
1. Whiting SJ, Lemke B. Excess retinol intake may explain the high incidence of osteoporosis in northern Europe. Nutr Rev 1999;57(6):192-195. Helhus H, Michaelson K, Kindmark A, et al. Excessive dietary intake of vitamin A is associated with reduced bone mineral density and increased risk of hip fracture. Ann Intern Med 1998;129(10):770-778.
2. Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126. Kolata G. Studies find beta carotene, taken by millions, can't forestall cancer or heart disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996. Omenn GS, Goodman GE, Thornquist MD, et al. Effects of combination of beta carotene and vitamin A on lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334(18):1150-1155. Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Manson JE, et al. Lack of effect of long-term supplementation with beta carotene on the incidence of malignant neoplasms and cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334(18):1145-1149. Albanes D, Heinonen OP, Taylor PR, et al. Alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements and lung cancer incidence in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study: effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1996;88(21):1560-1570. Rapola JM, Virtamo J, Ripatti S, et al. Randomized trial of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements on incidence of major coronary events in men with previous myocardial infarction. Lancet 1997;349(9067):1715-1720.