Heavy Metals Endanger Children – Vitamins May Help
Behavior problems, learning disabilities, and cancers are afflicting an increasingly higher percentage of youngsters. Although the causes are unproven, growing evidence suggests that air pollution is a significant factor. Heavy metals in fuels are an obvious cause for concern. Mercury in coal is an issue spot-lighted by environmental groups. Coal fired power plants release close to 50 tons/year of mercury vapor into the atmosphere in the U.S. Metals are also present in marine fuel oils.
Metals from combustion are dispersed in the air as invisible particles. They are blown by the winds and therefore become widely spread. They can enter the body through the lungs. When these metals land on fields and pastures where food is produced, a tiny fraction of them can enter the food supply. The concentration of heavy metals in air and food is very small. It is so small that scientists often can’t detect them even with the most sophisticated equipment. The problem is that just because heavy metals are undetectable does not guarantee that they can’t do harm. Few children can avoid both contaminated air and food, consistent with the observation that behavior problems, learning disabilities, and cancers are striking indiscriminately amongst rich and poor alike.
Heavy metals pollution should make parents afraid. If you are not afraid, type mercury, toxicity, and children into google and do some reading. It is not a simple matter of developing more sensitive tests, because some scientists are beginning to suspect that there may not be a safe dose for growing children. A steady diet of heavy metal, even just several atoms per day, getting into the wrong place at the wrong time may be enough to cause permanent harm.
Metals have always been a part of the environment, and the body has methods to remove unwanted metals to prevent harm. When kids are poisoned by metals, doctors treat them with drugs that accelerate these natural mechanisms. It is reasonable to hypothesize that vitamin dependent metabolic pathways are involved in vitamin removal. If true, vitamins might provide some protection. It is also reasonable to hypothesize that some damage done by metals can be healed. Important metabolic pathways in the healing process are known to be dependent upon vitamins. So, vitamins may be able to protect children by healing damage caused by metals, or by preventing the damage in the first place. Read more here
Concern about heavy metal pollution is one more reason I recommend vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamins for children. All children get vitamins from food. My concern is that food is not enough. Children may need extra. Then the question becomes how much extra and how to get children to take it. Most children are happy to eat chewable multivitamins and 500 mg chewable vitamin C tablets. I recommend three 500 mg chewable vitamin C tablets with breakfast and dinner every day. I also recommend one chewable multivitamin every day.
My final recommendation for children is time-release niacin. The time-release niacin is the only toddler-unfriendly ingredient. Fortunately, niacin has a mild flavor. Time-release niacin is available in 250 mg gel caps. The gel caps are filled with tiny spheres. Pull the 250 mg gel cap apart and add half of the spheres to ice cream or pudding, or some other soft, sweet, toddler-friendly food. I recommend 125 mg (one half of a gel cap) three times per week with breakfast.
Niacin and vitamin C in these doses occasionally cause side effects in children. It is important that you inform your pediatrician that you are giving your children vitamins. If your child becomes sick, stop feeding them the extra vitamins until you learn the cause.