Wellness Database: Children
Infants, children, and teens require good nutrition and an active lifestyle to develop physically and mentally. Unfortunately many children in the developed world suffer from obesity and other chronic, preventable diseases. This is largely due to lack of exercise and a poor diet.
Arachidonic Acid Added to DHA May Ameliorate Social Impairment in Individuals With Autism
Summary: Larger arachidonic acid (ARA) doses added to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may improve impaired social interaction in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers examined the efficacy of large doses of ARA added to DHA in a 16-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects (n=13) (mean age: 14.6 years) were examined for plasma levels of the antioxidants, transferrin and superoxide dismutase and on the Social Responsiveness Scale and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community. Results include significantly improved Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community-measured social withdrawal and Social Responsiveness Scale-measured communication and a differential change in plasma transferrin and superoxide dismutase levels. Findings suggest that supplementation with larger ARA doses added to DHA may mitigate impaired social interaction in individuals with autism spectrum disorder by up-regulating signal transduction.
Vitamin D Supplementation Relieves Depression in Adolescents
Summary: In this study, vitamin D supplementation was found to improve symptoms of depression in adolescent subjects with vitamin D deficiency. Subjects (n=54) were depressed adolescents and/ vitamin D deficient (n=48). Well-being and symptoms related to depression and vitamin D status were evaluated with WHO-5 well-being scale, The Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ-S), and a vitamin D deficiency scale. Results of vitamin D supplementation included increased well-being, improvements in depressed feelings, irritability, tiredness, mood swings, sleep difficulties, weakness, concentration and pain. Findings suggest supplementation of vitamin D may be useful in ameliorating of symptoms of depression in adolescents.
Cranberry Juice May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Summary: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 263 children in Finland who had been treated for urinary tract infections, consumption of cranberry juice for a period of 6 months was found to be associated with a reduced number of UTI recurrences and subsequently, fewer days on antimicrobial medications. Specifically, 16% of children in the cranberry juice group experienced at least 1 recurrent UTI, as compared to 22% in the placebo group. The total number of UTI recurrences were 27 in the cranberry group versus 47 in the placebo group, and the UTI incidence density per person-year at risk was 0.16 episodes lower in the cranberry group than in the placebo group. Children who received cranberry juice were found to require significantly fewer days on antimicrobials (-6 days per patient/year), as compared to those in the placebo group. These results suggest that consumption of cranberry juice may reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections in children, as it has previously been found to do in adult women.
Reference: "Cranberry juice for the prevention of recurrences of urinary tract infections in children: a randomized placebo-controlled trial," Salo J, Uhari M, et al, Clin Infect Dis, 2012 Feb; 54(3): 340-6. (Address: Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland).
L-carnitine May Improve Function in Children with Asthma
Summary: L-Carnitine level and the effects of its supplementation in children with moderate persistent asthma (MPA) were investigated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over 6 consecutive months. Patients were children with MPA (n=50) and a control group of healthy children (n=50.) Subjects received either L-carnitine or placebo and received pulmonary function tests (PFT) and childhood-asthma control test (C-ACT) before and 6 months after carnitine supplementation. Initial L-carnitine levels were significantly lower in the patient group as compared to the control group. PFT and C-ACT showed significant improvements in asthmatic children supplemented with L-carnitine, as compared to placebo. Findings suggest L-carnitine supplementation may lead to improvement of C-ACT and PFT in children with MPA.
Maternal Vitamin D Levels Linked with Language Development in Offspring
Summary: Maternal serum 25(OH)-vitamin D (vitD) concentrations during a critical window of fetal neurodevelopment may affect language development outcomes in offspring. VitD concentrations were measured in mothers (n= 743) at 18 weeks pregnancy and grouped into quartiles. Offspring were assessed at 2, 5, 8, 10, 14, and 17 years of age with the Child Behavior Checklist. Receptive language was assessed at ages 5 and 10 years. Analysis revealed significant linear trends between quartiles of maternal vitD levels and language impairment at 5 and 10 years of age. Researchers found that the risk of women with vitD insufficiency during pregnancy having a child with clinically significant language difficulties was increased close to 2 times compared with women with normal vitD levels. Findings suggest maternal vitD insufficiency during pregnancy may be associated with offspring language impairment.
Green Tea May Prevent Influenza in Children
Summary: Researchers conducted an observational study based on anonymous questionnaires to determine the association between green tea consumption and the incidence of influenza infection (confirmed by antigen test) among schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 13 years. Surveys were undertaken twice during the influenza season from November 2008 to February 2009 in 2,663 pupils across all elementary schools in Kikugawa City, Japan. Researchers found a benefit to consuming daily between 1-5 cups of green tea, but no greater advantage to drinking more than 5 cups per day. These findings suggest that 1-5 cups of green tea per day may prevent influenza in children.
Vitamin D May Be Beneficial For Pediatric Asthma
Summary: In a study examining the relationship between serum vitamin D and airway structure and function in 86 children, average age of 11.7 years, who were either severe, therapy resistant asthma (STRA), moderate asthmatics, or non-asthmatic controls, the authors found that severely asthmatic children had lower vitamin D levels than either moderate asthmatics or non-asthmatics and that higher vitamin D levels correlated with reduced airway inflammation and improved airway structure and lung function. The results suggest that vitamin D supplementation may be useful in treating pediatric STRA.
Adolescent Dairy Product Consumption May Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Adulthood
Summary: In a study involving 37,038 women who had completed a food-frequency questionnaire about their diet during high school, those consuming the most dairy products during high school (highest quintile, 2 servings/d) were found to have a 38% lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (RR=0.62), as compared to those in the lowest quintile of intake. The association persisted after adjustment for adult risk factors, but was attenuated after adjustment for adult dairy product consumption. The authors conclude, "Our data suggest that higher dairy product intake during adolescence is associated with a lower risk of T2D. Some of the benefits of dairy product intake during high school may be due to the persistence of the consumption pattern during adulthood."
Reference: "Adolescent dairy product consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged women," Malik VS, Sun Q, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 Sept; 94(3): 854-61. (Address: Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA).
Vitamin C May Decrease Asthma Symptoms
Summary: In a placebo-controlled, crossover study involving 60 asthmatic children between the ages of 7 and 10 years, administration of 0.2 g/d vitamin C for a period of 6 weeks was found to exert beneficial effects in certain sub-groups of children, depending on age, baseline scores on the childhood asthma control test (C-ACT), and exposure to dampness or mold in their bedroom, demonstrating that the effects of vitamin C in asthmatic children are heterogeneous. In children 7-8.2 years with baseline C-ACT of 18-19 points (scale ranges from 0-27), vitamin C was associated with increases in C-ACT by 4.2 points, as compared to an increase in 1.3 points in children aged 8.3 to 10 years who had a baseline C-ACT of 14-15 points. In addition, vitamin C was associated with a 37% increase in FEV1 level in children 7-8.2 years with no exposure to dampness, as compared to a 21% increase in children 8.3-10 years with exposure to dampness or mold in their bedroom more than one year prior to the study. The authors conclude, "Further research is needed to confirm our findings and identify the groups of children who would receive the greatest benefit from vitamin C supplementation."
Iron and Folic Acid Supplements Reduce Child Mortality in Developing Nations
Summary: In a study involving data collected from 52,917 singleton live-born infants and from the deaths of 1,525 children under the age of 5 years, risk of death of children under the age of 5 was significantly reduced by 34% if the mother consumed iron-folic acid supplements (adjusted HR=0.66), with the greatest effect found for deaths on the first day of life (adjusted HR=0.40. Reduction in neonatal deaths during days 1-30 was also found (adjusted HR=0.69), as was a reduction in postneonatal deaths (adjusted HR=0.74). A strong dose-response relationship was found with increasing numbers of iron-folic acid supplements consumed linked to an even greater protection from death in children < 5 years of age. The authors state,"In developing countries increased use of antenatal iron-folic acid supplements will reduce deaths of children <5 y of age, especially in the first year of life."
Reference: "Iron and folic acid supplements in pregnancy improve child survival in Indonesia," Dibley MJ, Titaley CR, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Jan; 95(1): 220-30. (Address: Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia).
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Nutrients and Diet
Alpha Lipoic Acid Amino Acids Antioxidants Arginine Calcium Carnitine Carotene Chromium Picolinate Citrulline Coenzyme Q10 DHEA Fat Fiber Fruit and Vegetables Garlic Ginkgo Biloba Glucosamine Vegetarian Diet Green Tea Iron Lutein Lycopene Magnesium Mediterranean Diet Multivitamins Nitric Oxide Nuts Olives Omega 3 Fatty Acids Policosanols Polyphenols Pomegranate Probiotics Pycnogenol Red Yeast Rice Salt Saffron Selenium Soy Theanine Vitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K White Tea Zinc