Health tips

Vitamin C: Is your child deficient in this important vitamin?

Vitamin C: Is your child deficient in this important vitamin?

We all give our child vitamin C when they are sick with a cold or flu. We usually perceive this vitamin as a therapy and prevention against viral infections. The truth is that its role in the human body is much more important and we need to get it daily to avoid its deficiency in our organism. 

Parents often wonder if their children are getting enough nutrients by following their usual diet. This is definitely an important topic and a key conversation to have with your pediatrician at every visit to his office. Still, let’s explore this topic in more detail.

It is generally recommended that children follow a well-balanced diet and not take supplements above the recommended daily allowance. Dietary recommendations differ for each vitamin and nutrient and dosages usually vary by age. 

Why is vitamin C important?

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is important for maintaining the optimal functioning of the immune system and has a wide range of positive effects on various aspects of health. 

  • Immune system: Vitamin C is a key nutrient for strengthening the immune system as it helps to produce white blood cells and antibodies. This vitamin plays an active role in fighting infections and keeping the immune system in optimal condition.
  • Muscle and skin: Ascorbic acid is essential for collagen formation, which supports the health of skin, tendons and hair. Collagen is an important building block for tissues in the body and provides elasticity and stability.
  • Wound healing: Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing as it speeds up the process of new tissue formation and repairs damaged cells. In addition, it is involved in the formation of collagen, which is essential for bone health.
  • Uptake of iron: Vitamin C helps the liver and small intestine absorb iron from food. Iron, in turn, transports oxygen throughout the body and is involved in energy production through cellular respiration.
  • Collagen production: As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, which maintains the overall structure of tissues. This protein is especially important for the formation of strong ligaments, bones and teeth, as well as for maintaining skin elasticity.

It is important to provide adequate amounts of vitamin C through a varied and balanced diet to maintain overall health and good functioning of the various systems in the body. This is especially important for children, whose needs for this vitamin are crucial for their growth and development.

Can vitamin C really help fight colds?

Many researchers have found that there is a link between vitamin C intake and the protective function of the immune system. This vitamin can help the body fight infections or cold symptoms. However, the evidence is inconclusive and there is no clear guidance from doctors when it comes to increasing vitamin C intake during illness. 

For cold and flu prevention, some experts recommend at least 200 mg of vitamin C daily. Studies report a 14% reduction in cold symptoms in children taking this amount of this vitamin.

Are there natural sources of vitamin C?

Since your body does not produce or store vitamin C, it is important to include foods that contain it in your diet. Many foods contain vitamin C, especially fruits and vegetables. For example, vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, such as oranges and pineapples, as well as cantaloupe, strawberries, and tomatoes. You can also find optimal amounts of vitamin C in vegetables, including sweet potatoes, spinach, green tomatoes, yellow peppers, and broccoli. Because light and heat can lower vitamin C content, consuming fresh, raw fruits and vegetables is preferable.

It is important to stick to a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. However, it is understandable that some children are very picky eaters and don’t always want to eat the fruits and vegetables we would like them to consume! Making fruit and vegetable smoothies or freezing fresh fruit in ice are two ways that you can incorporate these food groups into your child’s diet.

What happens if my child doesn’t get enough vitamin C?

Chronic vitamin C deficiency leads to a condition known as scurvy. This is a relatively rare condition as most children get high enough levels of vitamin C through their diet. Some medical conditions can reduce the amount of vitamin C that is absorbed by the body or lead to an increased need for it.

Children with intestinal disorders and some forms of cancer may be at increased risk of vitamin C deficiency. Chronic hemodialysis for patients with kidney disease can also lead to low vitamin C concentrations.

Smoking also increases the need for vitamin C by up to 40%, which is important to keep in mind, especially if your children are exposed to second-hand smoke at home.

What are the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency?

Initial symptoms of vitamin C deficiency can include irritability, loss of appetite and unwarranted bruising. Bleeding gums are another manifestation of vitamin C deficiency. Children may develop joint swelling or pain. In addition, because vitamin C aids in iron absorption, iron deficiency is usually seen in combination with decreased vitamin C levels.

How to choose a vitamin C supplement?

When choosing supplements, it is essential to pay attention not only to the vitamin itself, but also to the additional ingredients that are included in the product. Some supplements contain artificial colours or sweeteners and should be avoided, especially if they are intended for children. It is advisable to look for products that have a natural composition and do not contain artificial ingredients and fillers. Dietary supplements are now available on the market that do not contain gluten, genetically modified organisms and gelatine.

Another important aspect when choosing a vitamin supplement for children is the taste. Most children like fruity or citrus flavors, and the market offers many vitamin C supplements that cater to these preferences. When purchasing a supplement, discuss with your child whether he or she prefers chewable tablets or jelly-like dragees. Vitamin C is also available in liquid formulas, which is convenient if your child cannot yet chew tablets. 

It is important to look for supplements that are manufactured in an environment that follows good manufacturing practices. This system ensures that products are consistently monitored and manufactured to high quality standards. For children with peanut or tree nut allergies, it is essential to look for vitamin C that is free of both ingredients and manufactured in a nut-free facility.

C Vit Natural is a natural vitamin C with propolis that comes in convenient drinking ampoule packaging. The liquid formula of the dietary supplement ensures optimal absorption by your body. C Vit Natural has an excellent taste and is also taken with pleasure by children.

What is the recommended dose of vitamin C?

The recommended daily dose of vitamin C for children and young adults ranges from 15-45 mg for ages 1-13 years and from 65-75 mg for ages: 14-18 years. In general, vitamin C needs are higher during viral infections and inflammatory conditions.

In conclusion

Vitamin C plays an important role in the overall health of the body. The majority of children obtain the recommended daily amounts of this vitamin through a varied diet. Unfortunately, some children are at increased risk of vitamin C deficiency and supplementation is key for them. Make sure you give your child the right dose of vitamin C based on his or her age. Look for supplements that contain no artificial ingredients and meet high quality standards.

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