Babies, Vitamins and Mixed Messages in the Media

I’m one of those people who, every morning consumes a small cup worth of vitamins. My current alottment is comprised of:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin D (I live in the Pacific Northwest and have dark skin)
  • Fish oil (with DHA etc)
  • Flaxseed oil (someone told me once that it helps lubricate your eyes)
  • Glucosamine with Chondroitin (I had knee surgery a few years ago and have experienced several shoulder dislocations. As a result I’m happy to try anything that might help)
  • Branch chain amino acids (I like to pretend I go to the gym regularly)
  • Some green pill since I don’t eat enough greens

Crazy right?

Anyway, we recently heard that the DHA/fish oil supplementation is good practice for kids so I just picked up some capsules of the stuff which of course our son tried, but now refuses to eat. I can’t say that I blame him. They’re tiny fish oil capsules (about the size of a typical vitamin D capsule) and flavoured with the usual artificial strawberry flavoring. Once ‘popped’ the strawberry flavored fish oil syrup flows out and you’re left with the very sticky capsule skin… I tried one. I would refused to eat it as well if I was a toddler that didn’t understand that it was supposed to be beneficial. Next time I think we’ll go with the Gummy version. You can find a number of different Nordic Naturals Children’s DHAoptions here.

Additionally we give him a multivitamin gummy that we cut into 6 pieces each morning. This he takes to with gusto. Not surprising given that its an almost perfect mimic of a gummy bear so there’s absolutely no argument about taking them. The specific childen’s multi that we buy are Yummi Bears Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Gummy Bears

Now, the question. Consumer Reports recently did a spot on vitamins and supplements making the argument that many of them are unnecessary and in fact some of them can do some harm. They laid out the risk as well that both vitamins and supplements lack the quality control process and standards that true medications are bound by, so you take at your own risk. That makes me nervous.

It seems like every other week the common wisdom around vitamins, supplements and other promising foods shifts one way or the other. This week fish oil is dangerous so we all throw it out, the next week there’s a study that it can help with cancer treatment or something else we’re all concerned about. Frankly I don’t know if I should even bother trying to keep u.

For those of you out there, what are your experiences and thoughts?

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