Vitamin Supplement Myth
In general, we give our children too many vitamins and minerals. Let's set the record straight:
- The only mineral that is not present routinely in our diet is fluoride. Fluoride protects against tooth decay better than any other method. If it's not in your water supply, give your child daily fluoride drops or tablets from age 6 months to 16 years.
- Normal children don't need vitamin supplements after a year of age if they're on a well-balanced diet from all 4 food groups.
- Vitamin supplements may be helpful in special situations such as dieting, a picky eater, or one with a chronic debilitating disease.
- Any "extra" vitamin B or vitamin C that we give is quickly excreted out of the body in the urine. Therefore, most of the rivers in our country have good vitamin levels.
- An excessive intake of vitamins A and D however are stored in the body. An overdose of these vitamins can cause severe headaches, kidney stones or other symptoms.
In summary, needed vitamins and minerals are already present in foods. Vitamin supplements are a good example of more is not better.
If you have other questions about vitamins, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages