A recent public health study in Belgium has found that Flemish preschoolers are taking excessive amounts of zinc. Here are some quick facts about zinc for children.

Zinc is an essential nutrient for your child’s health as it empowers the immune system to keep illnesses from bacterias and viruses at bay. The US Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlights the importance of zinc, "…the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also helps wounds heal and is important for proper senses of taste and smell," and is instrumental in assisting the body in protein and DNA production.

Oysters, red meat and poultry are prime sources for zinc but there are also plant-based and grain options; for a complete list and breakdown per milligram go to: http://ods.od.nih.gov/FactSheets/Zinc.asp

It is recommended by the ODS that children between the ages of 1 and 3 years old have an average of 3 mg of zinc per day and those aged 4-8 years old take in 5 mg.

There are various signals that your child may have too much zinc. Suite 101 in the article Zinc and Our Children defines them as “You[r] child may complain of a weird taste in his or her mouth. They may develop stomach pain such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.”

Read more at Suite101: Zinc and Our Children

Full Study:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20043963?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1

 

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