More Children Taking Supplements, Some With Side Effects

More Children Taking Supplements, Some With Side Effects

About one-third of children are taking dietary supplements, and some of them have been associated with adverse events in this population.

Researchers reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and looked at 4,404 children (up to age 19) from 2003 to 2014. They examined how often children used dietary supplements, including both nutritional products (e.g., iron, calcium and vitamin D) and alternative medicines (e.g., bodybuilding supplements such as creatine and whey protein).

Results, published in JAMA Pediatrics, indicated that 33.2% of children used dietary supplements from 2003 to 2014. The percentage of children using nutritional products didn’t change, but the use of alternative supplements nearly doubled, to 6.7%. The growing use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements and melatonin — the latter commonly used as a sleep aid — greatly contributed to the increase in alternative supplements.

Multivitamins were the most commonly used dietary supplements and are “implicated in preventable adverse drug events” among children. Also, alternative medicines — specifically melatonin and omega-3 supplements — are increasingly linked to adverse cardiovascular effects, including arrhythmias, that can lead to sudden cardiac death. Researchers consider this “a serious yet underreported problem in children and adolescents.”


Avatar

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.


Did you find this article helpful?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Covid-19: Side Effects of Trump’s Treatments

Covid-19: Side Effects of Trump’s Treatments

President Donald Trump announced (via Twitter, of course) what some considered unthinkable, and others considered inevitable — that he had tested positive for Covid-19. Over the weekend, he received various treatments  — supplements like vitamin D, zinc and melatonin, an experimental antibody combination, an antiviral drug and a powerful anti-inflammatory…

Un-Sheltering Tips for Your Health and Immune System

Un-Sheltering Tips for Your Health and Immune System

As we all emerge from our bubbles of limited contact with others, we are walking straight into the double whammy of flu season and COVID-19 germs. Can your body fight off exposure to the flu and COVID? Your immune system feeds off the basics of life — sleep, movement, food…