Immune Boosters for Kids

Parents are constantly worried about their children’s risk of falling sick, especially during the festive season. Children’s immune system is in the process of developing so they are more vulnerable to infections. Young children have never come into contact with most bacteria or viruses before, rendering them immunologically naive.

As a community pharmacist, I often get the question of ‘My child is taking Vitamin C. What other immune boosters can I give?’.

Well, this article serves to answer that question. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunlight vitamin, is crucial for our immune system. Our body requires sunlight to produce Vitamin D. According to studies, Vitamin D may increase the levels of T regulatory cells (a component of the immune system). Vitamin D may also increase the cells’ activity. Vitamin D is important for bone health as well. 

Zinc 

Many Vitamin C supplements come with zinc. Some studies have found zinc to be capable of reducing the duration of cold and reducing the risk of upper respiratory infections. However, taking too much zinc might do the opposite. Zinc overdose may induce copper deficiency. The absorption of copper is hindered by zinc overdose. This will lead to weaker immunity. Remember to ask your pharmacist about the right amount of zinc for your child. 

Black Elderberry

History of Elderberry dates back to 400 B.C. Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, referred to the Elder Tree as “Nature’s Medicine Chest”. Some studies have found that elderberry extract reduced the duration of flu by four days. Another plus point of elderberry being its taste. Most children enjoy the taste of Elderberry, be it gummies or syrups.

Colostrum

Colostrum is a milky fluid that is released by mammals that have recently given birth before breast milk production begins. Colostrum is highly nutritious. It is rich in lactoferrin and antibodies. Both lactoferrin and antibodies are involved in the body’s immune response. 

Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that are capable of holding the bad gut bacteria in check. There are various different probiotic strains available but not all are meant for immune boosting. One of the strains that distinguish itself from others in immune boosting effect is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. This strain elicits an immune boosting effect through the ability to stimulate antibody-producing cells and natural killer cells. 

The Bottom Line

Apart from Vitamin C, there is a plethora of immune booster choices available for your children. Talk to your pharmacist today if you need help choosing the right immune booster to prepare them for the world out there!

 

References:

  1. Why parents of young children get sick more often [Internet]. Vox. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.vox.com/2016/8/31/12714028/why-parents-kids-get-sick-viruses
  2. [Internet]. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/therapies/supplements/vitamin-d/
  3. Vitamin D [Internet]. NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/therapies/supplements/vitamin-d/
  4. Zinc for a Strong Immune System [Internet]. WebMD. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/supplement-guide-zinc
  5. The Pros and Cons of Elderberry [Internet]. Healthline. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/elderberry#health-benefits
  6. What Is Colostrum? Nutrition, Benefits, and Downsides [Internet]. Healthline. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bovine-colostrum
  7. 8 Health Benefits of Probiotics [Internet]. Healthline. 2021 [cited 25 December 2021]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-health-benefits-of-probiotics#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8