Although a balanced diet is one of the best ways for everyone to obtain nourishment, the majority of children do not get enough micronutrients from the food they eat. Too few fresh fruits and vegetables, along with the consumption of highly processed food, results in chronic deficiencies of essential micronutrients in children that impair their growth and health, thus making them prone to diseases.
Malnutrition in children is a problem not only in developing countries. In their quest for massive food production, developed countries have indiscriminately used pesticides, chemical fertilizers and other poor farming practices. This has led to a severe depletion of nutrients in their soils. In addition, micronutrient deficiencies are widespread due to the global promotion of highly processed food. A study published in 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition confirms a significant decline in the nutritive value of food produced in the last 50 years.
Children are especially vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies because vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds are essential to support healthy development of the blood, bones and all organ systems, especially the nervous and immune systems. Inadequate nutrition impairs physical growth, as well as development of the brain and nervous system, and reduces a child’s immunity and learning ability. Therefore, providing appropriate nutrition is the obvious first step in supporting the healthy development of a child at any age.
The Dr. Rath Research Institute, in association with the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, conducted a clinical evaluation of the health effects of micronutrient supplementation in school-age children*. This evaluation included 69 children who were taking a micronutrient supplement for a period of seven months. Their health assessment was conducted at the beginning and end of the trial. Another group of 34 children who were not taking the micronutrient supplement were monitored as the control group. All children consumed the same diet at school. After seven months, the children in the study group were found to be physically fitter than those in the control group. The study found that their heart rate and blood pressure decreased, their cardiovascular system function increased by 28% and their muscle power by 16%. At the same time, the children in the control group experienced a 14% decrease in lung capacity and respiratory function. Moreover, the children taking micronutrients showed improved immunity and their number of illnesses decreased by 25%. In addition, children in the study group had better test scores in several subjects compared to the control group. The general health, physical activity and emotional wellbeing of the children whose diet was supplemented with the micronutrients improved significantly over the seven months of the study.
This study indicates that micronutrient supplementation should be an important part of a healthy diet in school age children. The vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients act as catalysts in the metabolic processing of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, making the bioenergy generated from these components available for the body to utilize and stay healthy.
* Korzun V, et al., Journal of Cellular Medicine and Natural Health. 2015