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Wellness Blog

THE BEST TIPS TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN'S IMMUNITY

THE BEST TIPS TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN'S IMMUNITY

If you are a parent, it is very likely that your daily priority is the care, well-being and health of your children. One of the main challenges as parents is to nurture the immune system of our developing children, which is still immature, complex and constantly developing to adapt to the outside world and equip itself with an immune army.

Lifestyle, routines, exposure to toxins, stressors and physical activity are fundamental points to support or harm this children's immune system. Healthy eating is the key to providing all the nutrients needed to ensure a strong and robust immune system, however, it is often not enough. This is why today we want to provide the best nutritional and lifestyle advice for your children's defenses.

KEY NUTRIENTS FOR IMMUNE SUPPORT

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D plays a fundamental role in the immune system and its regulation. In various studies its effect has been demonstrated in the prevention of infections and the management of respiratory pathologies.

Low levels of vitamin D could be associated with a higher risk of respiratory infections in newborns, and at the same time an adequate dose during pregnancy and early childhood can improve the respiratory health of newborns.

In addition, adequate doses of this vitamin reduce the incidence and risk of upper respiratory infections, both in children and adults.

Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly common and has been linked to the risk of infections in children, so ensuring an adequate supply could be helpful in prevention. Adequate levels of vitamin D can reduce the incidence of flu by up to 40%.

Foods rich in Vitamin D : They include fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, cod liver oil, liver, organ meats and egg yolk.

It should be noted that the method used to cook food can have important effects on its vitamin D content. For example, frying fish decreases the active content of vitamin D by about 50%, while roasting it does not modify the content.

Regarding the origin of the fish, farmed fish may have lower vitamin D content than wild-grown fish.

VITAMIN A

Vitamin A improves immunity by maintaining defense barrier membranes, developing lymphatic tissues and amplifying the immune response.

Foods rich in vitamin A : meat, oily fish, eggs, butter. Fruits and vegetables; Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, chard, cantaloupe and bell peppers contain carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A in the body.

If your child follows a vegan or vegetarian diet, it is important to supplement them with vitamin A to ensure adequate intake.

VITAMIN C

Germ-fighting immune cells need vitamin C to do their job and accumulate it during times of viral and bacterial invasion. Studies have shown that, in children, vitamin C reduces the duration and symptoms of respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia.

Foods rich in vitamin C include peppers, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, kiwis, cantaloupe and cauliflower, and should be eaten raw or lightly steamed to retain their vitamin C content.

A good daily dose of vitamin C for children from one year of age is 250 mg, which can often be found in a multivitamin. However, this can be increased to 400 mg (ages 1 to 3 years), 650 mg (ages 4 to 8 years), and 1200 mg (ages 9 to 13 years) for a short period (1 to 2 weeks) while fights infections. If you use vitamin C in powder form, it is very easy to add to a bottle of water that the child can drink throughout the day.

ZINC

Zinc plays a critical role in the functioning of the immune system and also keeps the barrier membranes in the skin and respiratory tract strong to prevent the entry of microbes. Studies have even shown that people with zinc deficiency experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens.

Foods rich in zinc include seafood, beef and lamb, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cocoa, chicken, beans, and mushrooms.

A good quality multinutrient will provide enough zinc for a daily dose; However, for additional short-term immune support, children ages 1 to 3 years can take a total of 7 mg, ages 4 to 8 years - 12 mg, and ages 9 to 13 years a maximum of 23 mg.

PROBIOTICS

Our intestinal bacteria stimulate, support and improve the maturation of the immune system. Live bacteria (probiotics) taken as a supplement have been shown to significantly reduce the appearance of symptoms, coughs and colds in children, reducing the need for antibiotics.

Our line of probiotic supplements provides alternatives for all ages: Bioflora for infants, Strawberry Bioacidophilus and Mindlinx Powder for preschoolers and schoolchildren.

A great strategy to support immunity in children would be to provide multiple nutrients with immune support in individualized dosage for children that includes Vitamin A , Zinc , Probiotics, and Vitamin C as a base.

WHEN YOUR CHILD ALREADY HAS AN INFECTION

Remember that fever is the body's natural process to deal with an infection. Elevated body temperature can kill bacteria and viruses that are sensitive to temperature changes. A low fever is a body temperature of more than 38°C (100.4°F) and above 39°C (102.2°F) is a high fever.

Natural ways to relieve fever include making sure they are well hydrated (water, coconut water, homemade ice lollies with water and some fruit), getting enough rest, bathing them with warm water, and opening a window in the bedroom to keep circulating air.

A traditional remedy used to "reduce" a fever is a cloth soaked in diluted apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water) and then placed on the forehead or abdomen.

Prioritize sleep with restricted access to electronic devices. Children may try to persuade us to let them stay up late if they don't have school in the morning. However, it is important to try to stick to regular sleep routines and practice good sleep hygiene. Try to limit screen time 2-3 hours before bed, as electromagnetic radiation and bright screens can contribute to environmental stress and suppress immune function.

Avoid refined foods, including wheat products, dairy, and sugars, as they can reduce immune function. Focus on nutrient-dense foods to ensure they are getting enough immune-supporting micronutrients and antioxidants: Rainbow Plate!

Don't be afraid to take the children outside, this is really important for mental wellbeing (as long as you follow government guidelines and maintain social distancing at this time).

If you need advice on nutrition and supplements, please contact our nutrition team or seek the advice of a nutritional therapist or other health professional for more personalized advice. nutricion@biocarechile.cl

REFERENCES

[Yo] Yildiz et al. The role of vitamin D in children with recurrent Tonsillopharyngitis.Ital J Pediatr. 2012; 38:25.

[ii] Reid et al. Vitamin D and tonsil disease--preliminary observations.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011; 75 (2): 261-4.

[iii] Urashima M et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;14(5):1255–1260.

[iv] S. van de Pavert et al., “Maternal retinoids control type 3 innate lymphoid cells and set the offspring immunity,” Nature, doi:10.1038/nature13158, 2014

[v] Hall et al The role of retinoic acid in tolerance and immunity. Immunity 35 (1), 13-22

[saw] Yang HM, Mao M, Wan C. Vitamin A for treating meals in childrenexternal link icon. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2011;2005.

[vii] Vorilhon P et al.Efficacy of vitamin C for the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory tract

infection. A meta-analysis in children. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;75(3):303-311.

[viii] Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(1):CD000980.

[ix] Khan I.M. et al. Efficacy of vitamin C in reducing duration of severe pneumonia in children. J Rawalpindi Med Col. 2014; 18(1):55-57.

[x] Cunningham-Rundles et al. Mechanisms of nutrient modulation of the immune response. Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005; 115 (6): 1119-28.

[xi] Gammoh NZ, Rink L. Zinc in Infection and Inflammation. Nutrients. 2017;9(6):624.

[xii] Weng JR et al. Antiviral activity of Sambucus Formosana Nakai ethanol extract and related phenolic acid constituents against human coronavirus NL63. Virus Res. 2019; 273:197767

[xiii] Garaiova I et al. Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: a randomized controlled pilot study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015; 69(3): 373-9

[xiv] Hojsak L et al. Lactobacillus GG in the prevention of gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections in children who attend day care centers: A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2010; 29(3): 312-6

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