September 08, 2020 | John Paul Catanzaro
Things are going to get very interesting when the kids go back to school. I have three kids in school (one in grade school, one in high school, and the other in university) and my wife is a teacher, so I need to make sure that my clan is well prepared for their return.
In addition to a sound nutrition, exercise, and sleep regimen, certain dietary supplements can help to boost immunity. Here are four in particular that my wife and daughters take on a regular basis: vitamin D, vitamin C, probiotics, and NAC.
Typically, anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day tends to be a safe and effective dose for most people, but some need more especially during the winter months. Rather than guessing, it’s a good idea to get a blood test done periodically to make sure that you’re in the optimal range.
To find the optimal daily dose for vitamin C, go until bowel tolerance then back off by 1 gram. I outline the process in The First Step to Gut Health. On average, one vitamin C capsule (500 to 1,000 mg) per meal works well for most people.
According to Dr. Nigel Plummer, there’s no danger of overdosing on probiotics. With that said, taking too much is not ideal! Usually, one dose with dinner is sufficient (of course, you may require more during immune-compromised situations).
Dr. Plummer suggests that taking your probiotics with a meal is better than taking them on an empty stomach (believe it or not, the gut is more acidic when empty and thus a greater die-off of beneficial bacteria can occur), and I prefer that probiotics are taken with dinner so that your system can prepare for elimination overnight and help keep you regular the following morning.
Top 4 Supplements for Kids
Here are the four supplements that my 10-year-old son takes on a daily basis: vitamin D drops, chewable multivitamin, probiotic powder, and chewable fish oil.
When it comes to supplements, smaller people need smaller doses. For vitamin D, 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day seems to be the right dose for most kids depending on their size.
A chewable multivitamin is good insurance for kids especially when you have to fight tooth and nail to get them to eat vegetables, but make sure that you buy one that’s not loaded with sugar and contains buffered vitamin C – unless you don’t mind your kids getting cavities! Also, look for a high-quality multi that has the right form of magnesium as I mention in this article.
Capsules usually don’t work well for kids. For probiotics, powder is a better option – a small amount on an espresso spoon will do the trick (some powders, like Genestra HMF Powder, actually taste pretty good).
Liquid fish oil is a great option for kids, but you have to consider oxidation, so unless you don’t mind using a wine saver every time to pump out the air, consider a chewable fish oil supplement, like Genestra DHA Pediaburst.