Top Five Myths About Children’s Vitamins

By  August 10, 2011

You want your children to thrive. You try to make sure they eat well and get some exercise. And you want to give them vitamins, but you’re not sure which ones are right. The makers of SmartyPants vitamins, a premium all-in-one gummy vitamin, are decoding the confusing language and ingredients in your child’s supplements. Here are the top five vitamin myths you need to know.

MYTH # 1:  Everything in my children’s vitamin is good for my child.
FACT: The vast majority of children’s vitamins contain ingredients that have very questionable safety records.

You would think in a product like a vitamin, which is ideally meant to help your child grow and thrive, you would find wholesome and quality ingredients that do nothing detrimental to your child’s health.  So why are most vitamin companies putting genetically modified-derived ingredients into their children’s vitamins?

If you take a look at the label on your children’s vitamin and you see corn syrup, glucose syrup from corn, high-fructose corn syrup, soybean oil or soy lecithin, the odds are these ingredients have been derived from genetically modified corn and soy.  Over 90% of the soy in the US and over 80% of the corn in the US are now produced using genetically modified seeds.

MYTH #2: If you take vitamins, you can eat whatever you want.
FACT: Vitamins are meant to support and enhance a balanced diet, not replace it.

The vast majority of Americans are now classified as either overweight or obese.  And childhood obesity in recent years has skyrocketed. The finger pointing on this issue ranges from blaming individual responsibility on the subject of food intake, to the hypothesis that man-made chemicals are the culprit. Whatever the reason, carrying an unhealthy weight around has become the norm in the United States, not the exception. So, what does this have to do with vitamins?

Too many people use vitamins as a magic bullet to cover for poor nutritional habits.  They think they can live on fast food and pop a pill and magically have a balanced, healthy diet and life. In the real world, a vitamin is meant to enhance a balanced diet, not replace it.  A well rounded multi-vitamin can be your insurance policy against a poor nutritional meal once in a while.  But it will never make you healthy all by itself.

MYTH #3: All supplements are safe, otherwise they wouldn’t be available on the market.
FACT: The FDA does not regulate the over-the-counter supplement market.

The US supplemental market can at times seem like the wild, wild west.  You know, the frontier times when lawlessness ruled.  Thanks to the lack of oversight and lack of third-party laboratory testing, the supplemental landscape has become a home to people promising one thing and delivering something else entirely.  Supplements like vitamins unfortunately don’t get any regular testing from any governmental agency.

Every so often you will see a study come out talking about how an independent laboratory found the nutrient levels claimed on over-the-counter supplements were either wildly inaccurate or entirely fabricated.

Insist on GMP certified labs and USP certified ingredients, because when it comes to the health of your children, it’s not worth taking any chances.

MYTH #4: Vitamins are best taken on an empty stomach.
FACT: Vitamins should ALWAYS be taken with meals, and fat soluble vitamins need a little dietary fat to help with assimilation.

Vitamins are not candy and shouldn’t be treated like it. They need to be taken like any serious vitamin supplement, with a meal and with a small portion of dietary fat like cheese, butter or a few nuts.

MYTH #5: If a small dose of vitamins is good, a larger dose must be better.
FACT: Toxicity can occur from a vitamin overload.

Doesn’t it seem like America is obsessed with more being better?  Super-sized meals, Big-Gulp sized sodas, “extra strength” antacids (extra strength everything!).  Often all three of these particular things at the very same meal!

But when it comes to vitamins, more is not necessarily always better. We’re talking of course about the fat soluble vitamins, like A, D, E, and K which can all bio-accumulate in your body’s fat cells.  While a small amount of these vitamins are vital for good health, too much of a good thing can cause symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and loss of hair!