HAPHAZARD VITAMIN USE IN CHILDREN CAN CAUSE HEART PROBLEMS!
Parents tend to be overly protective of their children especially in winter for fear of sickness. Without consulting a doctor, they choose random vitamin supplements to strengthen their children’s immune system. However extreme caution should be used when giving children vitamin supplements because excessive amounts of vitamins can create a toxic effect and cause a number of health problems, especially calcification in the coronary and renal arteries!
Vitamins that compose the nutrition needed for growth, development, energy use and generation of cells and tissues have vital importance for children in their development stage. Fast growing children aged 0-2, 5 year olds and adolescents (starting from 10) have increased need for vitamins and minerals. They also need them in winter season when upper respiratory infections are a common occurrence! Families often resort to vitamin supplements without consulting a doctor to reinforce immune systems and make up for the lack of sunlight during the cold months. Acibadem Bağdat Caddesi Medical Center Pediatric Specialist Dr. Huri Aydoğan warned that the haphazard use of vitamin supplements can cause serious damage instead of benefit to children.
Never give your children vitamins without consulting a doctor
Pediatric Specialist Dr. Huri Aydoğan pointed out that children with normal development and healthy nutrition do not need vitamin supplements. “Unfortunately families tend to give out vitamins regardless of the child’s nutrition and development” said Dr. Huri Aydoğan and continued: “High doses of vitamins in the body can cause many important health problems from calcification in the coronary, renal and abdominal tissue to kidney stones, swollen liver and spleen, as well as dry and cracked skin. This is why you should never give children vitamins and supplements without first consulting a doctor”.
Particularly fat soluble vitamins can create a toxic effect
Vitamins are separated into two groups “water soluble” or “fat soluble”. Vitamins B and C dissolve in water; while vitamins A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. Since excessive B and C vitamins which are water soluble, are removed from the body with urine they generally do not cause a problem. Conversely, fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body and they can cause toxic effects and do more harm than good.
Haphazard vitamin use compromises health!
Pediatric Specialist Dr. Huri Aydoğan listed health problems that can develop in children as the result of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K being stored in the body in excessive amounts:
Vitamin A: Enlarged liver and spleen
Vitamin A is important because of its effect on tissue changes and reproduction in children (in the development period), vision, reproduction, immune system, integrity of epithelium cells and lung development. Deficiencies impact mental and physical development, skin gets dry and scaly, appetite decreases, anemia and infections tendency increases. But since it is a fat soluble vitamin, haphazard use can cause more harm than good. High doses of vitamin A can collect in tissue and cause lack of appetite, slow growth, dry, cracked and pale skin, enlarged liver and spleen, pain in long bones, increased inner cranium pressure and baldness.
Vitamin D: Coronary and renal calcification
This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium. It plays an important role in strengthening bones and teeth in children. It also reinforces immune and nerve systems. Dr. Huri Aydoğan said that since vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in the body it can have toxic effects if taken over the daily requirement and added: “As a result, children may develop serious health problems like diarrhea, weight loss, frequent urination, kidney stones, urinating at night and calcification in coronary and renal arteries and in soft tissue like bronchi and stomach”.
Excessive vitamin E:
A very strong antioxidant, vitamin E protects the vascular endothelium (cells constituting the inner layer of our arteries), neuronal and other cellular membranes in children from free radical damage. High doses of vitamin E enable immune system diseases to progress faster.
Excessive vitamin K:
Vitamin K has a regulating effect on coagulation factors in children. When taken excessively it can cause problems like anemia and jaundice but no toxic effect is seen in oral use.