Toddler, Child
20 Feb 2020

Look For High-Quality Ingredients

When it comes to supplements, not all ingredients are created equal.

Every nutrient comes in lots of different forms and some are better-quality than others.

So, to ensure the product you choose contains high-quality ingredients, you may find it useful to look out for the following terms:

Active B-Group Vitamins

When we consume vitamins, our bodies have to break them down before they can be sent to and used by the parts of the body that need them most.

However, some B-vitamins are available in more active forms, which means our body doesn’t need to do this. Instead, they can be readily used from the get-go.

Some active B-Group vitamin names to look out for include:

  • Riboflavin sodium phosphate (Vitamin B2)
  • Pyridoxal 5-phosphate (Vitamin B6)
  • Levomefolate glucosamine (Vitamin B9 (Folate))
  • Mecobalamin (Vitamin B12)

Bioavailable Ingredients

Our bodies don’t absorb and use 100% of the nutrients that we consume. Instead, the amount of a vitamin or mineral that has an active effect within our bodies is dictated by bioavailability, which refers to the percentage of a nutrient that is readily absorbed.

Some ingredients are more bioavailable than others, meaning more of the nutrient is able to be absorbed and sent to the parts of the body where it is needed.

For example, if your child consumes a highly bioavailable form of calcium, more will be sent to the parts of their body where it is needed most (like the bones) than if they consumed the same amount of a less bioavailable form.

If you’d like to learn more about the importance of nutrient bioavailability, you can find more information here.

Gentle Forms of Iron and Vitamin C

Iron and vitamin C can be harsh on the stomach and may cause some people digestive discomfort.

So you might like to consider products that contain the forms of these ingredients that can be kinder to the tummy than others.

For example, some forms of iron can start to be digested in the stomach, which may cause digestive discomfort. Others are coated in a way that allows the iron to bypass the stomach, so it can be absorbed in the intestine instead, making it kinder to the tummy.

If you’re looking for an iron supplement for your child, you may like to look for one that contains a form of iron with a specialised coating.

When it comes to selecting a vitamin C product, keep an eye out for buffered forms, which may be kinder to the stomach than straight ascorbic acid. Buffered forms of vitamin C can be easier on the tummy than products that contain ascorbic acid.

Sometimes it can be tricky to tell which products contain the types of iron and vitamin C that may be more gentle on the stomach. Luckily, your local pharmacist can point you in the right direction. Just ask them for products that contain coated forms of iron and/or buffered forms of vitamin C.

Look For Age-Specific Formulations

Children at different ages and stages may have different nutritional needs. So, if you’re looking for a supplement for your child, it may be useful to keep an eye out for products that have been formulated with their specific age group in mind.

Depending on their age, it may also be useful to choose a format that your child finds easy to take. From liquids to gummies to tablets, there’s an array of options available to choose from and it can be tricky to determine which is best. If you’d like to explore the pros and cons of these three common supplement formats, click here.

Look For Ingredient Combinations That Work Together

Did you know that some nutrients team up within the body to work together?

Comprehensive supplement formulations contain combinations of ingredients that work together to support different aspects of health.

So, when selecting a supplement you may like to keep the following nutrient combinations in mind:

  • Vitamin D and Calcium: Calcium is important for supporting healthy bones, teeth and muscles, but vitamin D also has a role to play as our bodies require adequate amounts of vitamin D to absorb calcium.
  • Iron and some B-Group Vitamins: Iron contributes to healthy red blood cells production and circulating oxygen around the body. Vitamins B9 (folate), B6 and B12 support these important functions of iron within the body.
  • Iron and Vitamin C: Vitamin C can assist iron absorption, so when these two nutrients are consumed together the iron may be more readily used by the body.
  • Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin: Zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D are among the many nutrients that support a healthy immune system. However, when combined, these three ingredients also play synergistic roles within the immune system to strengthen immune defences and overall immunity.

Next time you’re considering a dietary supplement for your child, we hope you feel equipped with the information to feel confident in your decision. However, if you have any concerns about your child’s nutrient intake, take them to see a health professional.

The information provided in reference to these ingredients is general in nature and provided as information only. Any product-specific therapeutic claims for these ingredients are linked to specific dosage requirements based on evidence of traditional or scientific nature.

Remember, vitamins and minerals can only be of assistance when dietary intake is inadequate.

If you found the information in this article helpful, you may also be interested in the following:

Nutrient Bioavailability: What It Is and Why It’s Important

The Ultimate Guide: Which Vitamins Are Important For Children?

Important Minerals For Your Child (And How To Help Them Get Enough)

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