Nutrition Questions and Answers
Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Lesa Rusher, who is our resident naturopathic expert and who is available to answer questions about nutrition and health.
Lesa Rusher is a qualified naturopath with a thriving business in Canberra, Australia and has a wealth of experience treating clients on a variety of health issues. Lesa Rusher's full credentials can be found in our experts area.
Lesa Rusher will answer your nutrition-related questions.
Q: I have bought Mivitotal, a food supplement which contains vitamins and minerals in specific levels, for my infant children who are 3 and 5 years old.
The ingredients per 10ml serving are:
- Betacarotene (Pro-vitamin A) - 1mg
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine HCl) - 1mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - 1mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - 1mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - 2.3mg
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - 1.0mg
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) - 0.6mg
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) - 33mg
- Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) - 0.8mg
- Vitamin E (d-alfa-Tocopherol Acetate) - 5mg
- Biotin - 25mcg
- Boron (Citrate) - 166mcg
- Folate - 0.6mcg
- Inositol - 8.3mg
- Choline (Bitartrate) - 8.3mg
- PABA (Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid) - 3.3mg
- Iodine - 25mcg
- Calcium - 83mg
- Potassium - 33mg
- Chromium - 33mg
- Magnesium (Oxide) - 66.6mg
- Manganese - 0.5mg
- Selenium - 16.6mcg
- Zinc - 2mg
Please let me know if you think there is too much or too little of anything in this?
Would you recommend me to give it to my children or is there any better option?
A: My first question to you would be: Why do you think your children need a multivitamin-mineral supplement in the first place? Are your children fussy eaters who do not eat all foods? Do you think their diet is deficient in organic, whole foods (vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, legumes, protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids)? If this is the case, or if you feel that your children are not getting a variety of different whole foods every day, then you may be well be concerned about whether or not they are getting their nutritional intake of all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Studies have shown that organic foods provide more of the nutrients than those foods not grown organically, so it may be more beneficial to provide organic foods as much as possible (that budget and time) allows.
You can discuss your concerns about your children's diet with your doctor (or paediatrician) who can provide a recommendation on whether there may be dietary deficiencies based on a thorough consultation. A doctor can also request a blood test to measure levels of certain vitamins/minerals, if deficiency is a concern.
In regards to mineral supplements, you need to ensure that they contain no heavy minerals (the oxide form) as those are not as easily absorbed (not bioavailable) as other forms of of mineral supplements.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to give you a recommendation on whether your children require a supplement with the information you have provided. You need to see your family doctor who can recommend a nutritionist to advise you on whether supplementation is necessary.
Please note that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult with your medical physician regarding appropriateness of using supplements in your healing process.
Enjoy better health!