The Significance Of Vitamin C For Children’s Health

Although vitamin C is a prevalent component in many dietary supplements, what specific advantages does it offer to your family?

As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), vitamin C, which is also called ascorbic acid, is a nutrient that dissolves in water and is present in some types of food. Its function in the body is to act as an antioxidant that combats the existence of free radicals. Free radicals can come from external sources such as exposure to cigarette smoke, UV rays from the sun, and air pollution.

Nutritional Value of Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is a water-soluble nutrient that is present in certain foods, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It serves as an antioxidant within the body, combating free radicals from environmental sources like cigarette smoke, UV rays from the sun, and air pollution.

Oregon State University conducted research that found vitamin C to aid in the healing of wounds by increasing collagen synthesis and reducing inflammatory reactions at the wound site. Vitamin C is also known to reduce the duration of the common cold in individuals who consume it regularly. People with sufficient amounts of vitamin C in their diet tend to have milder cold symptoms. Although most people prefer taking multivitamins, others may choose to take specific vitamins that combine vitamin C and zinc. According to Livestrong, adult women require 8 milligrams of zinc per day, while adult men need 11 milligrams. Both vitamin C and zinc help with wound healing, hair health, and a more robust immune system. Research also suggests that high vitamin C intake from fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and lung cancer.

Sources of Vitamin C

The most favorable sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, which include the following specific examples:

  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Other food products that have been enriched with vitamin C.

Breast milk and infant formula offer a moderate level of vitamin C, whereas cow’s milk is not suitable for infants under the age of one year. If you suspect that your child is not obtaining an adequate amount of vitamin C from their diet or if they follow a specific meal plan, it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the possibility of administering supplements to increase their vitamin C levels.

The Correct Dosage

The appropriate amount of vitamin C to be taken by children may differ according to their age, and it is necessary to consult a medical professional before administering any medication, including vitamins. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide a suggested dosage, which should be referred to.

  • Infants aged 0 to 6 months – 40 mg
  • Infants aged 7 to 12 months – 50 mg
  • Children aged 1 to 3 years – 15 mg
  • Children aged 4 to 8 years – 25 mg
  • Children aged 9 to 13 years – 45 mg
  • Teenage boys aged 14 to 18 years – 75 mg
  • Teenage girls aged 14 to 18 years – 65 mg

Individuals who smoke or frequently inhale secondhand smoke require an increased amount of vitamin C intake (35 mg above the RDA) because their bodies need more to heal the harm caused by free radicals.

Deficiency of Vitamin C

Scurvy is an uncommon but severe condition resulting from a significant deficiency of vitamin C, which typically occurs when a person’s diet lacks vitamin C for at least three months. Because the body cannot produce vitamin C by itself, it relies mainly on food sources and supplements. Scurvy may result from fad diets, smoking, and inadequate food intake, so it is important to monitor your diet and maintain a well-balanced one. Children who are picky eaters may also be at risk of vitamin C deficiency, so it’s important to consult with your pediatrician about the best multivitamin options for your child.