Kids’ supplements contain more than they should

February 4, 2014

It seems that many vitamin supplements marketed for children and infants contain higher amounts of individual vitamins than are recommended.

 

It seems that many vitamin supplements marketed for children and infants contain higher amounts of individual vitamins than are recommended.

Using the Dietary Supplement Label Database, a project recently launched by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Medicine and the National Library of Medicine, researchers from Pennsylvania compared the amounts of individual vitamins listed on the labels of various children’s supplements with the recommended daily allowances (RDA) of those vitamins as established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

In all, the researchers looked at 9 individual vitamins in 21 supplements intended for use by infants aged younger than 1 year. They also looked at 14 vitamins in 172 supplements intended for use by children aged between 1 and 4 years.

The investigators found that vitamin D was the only vitamin that was listed in amounts at or below the RDAs for both age groups. Choline was listed at 13% of adequate intake in the older age group.

All the other vitamins examined were in amounts in excess of those recommended and some of the excesses were not small. Biotin, for example, was listed at 936% of adequate intake in supplements for children in the older age group.

Although the level of vitamin C was about where it should be for the supplements intended for children aged younger than 1 year, in the supplements made for older children, the level of vitamin C was about 5 times the recommended amount.

Similarly, the dietary supplements for the older children contained, on average, about 300% of the daily recommended levels of vitamin A, thiamin, and riboflavin.

The IOM recommends against infant vitamin supplementation in excess of RDAs for most of the vitamins studied. 

 

 

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