Back-to-School: Immune Support for Kids and Parents
Written By: Vida Joy Ordonez, PharmD (candidate)
Maintaining your child's health can be a challenge amidst their hectic academic schedules and extracurricular commitments. Despite your best efforts to nourish them with a balanced diet, ensure proper hydration, promote sufficient sleep, and encourage physical activity, children may still fall ill at times. And when children fall ill, parents can too. Continue reading to discover effective strategies for bolstering both you and your child's immune systems.
WHAT & HOW:
Vitamin C supports immunity by aiding white blood cells, and acts as a superhero, reinforcing our immune system's ability to protect us from threats. Studies have shown that daily vitamin C supplementation decreased the duration of colds in children by 14%1.
RECOMMENDATION for both kids and parents: Take 1,000 - 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.
Don’t forget to implement fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C in both you and your child’s daily diet! You may use this chart as a helpful reference to determine the amount of vitamin C from various food sources.
Parents may supplement Vitamin C intake with KC Pro-Nutrients Optimal C, our high-potency vitamin C supplement containing BioPerine and buffering minerals to optimize absorption and minimize potential upset stomach. Another option is the KC Pro-Nutrients C+ BioFlavinoids, which combines high-potency vitamin C with a standardized, full-spectrum, citrus bioflavonoid complex.
WHAT & HOW:
Vitamin D is made in the skin after sunlight exposure and is converted into its active form in the liver and kidneys. The body uses this active form of vitamin D to support many functions such as bone development, regulate immune response, release insulin (helps control blood sugar levels), and supports the regulation of blood pressure.
RECOMMENDATION for Kids: Give your child 400 - 1000 IU of vitamin D daily to support immune system function and prevent infection, or as directed by your provider.
RECOMMENDATION for Parents: Take at least 1000 - 5000 IU of vitamin D daily to support immune system function and prevent infection, or as directed by your provider.
A natural way to acquire adequate vitamin D is from short sunlight exposure 2 to 3 times a week. However, if you’re unable to receive sunlight exposure (i.e., during the winter), it may be beneficial to take a vitamin D supplement. To get the most benefit out of a vitamin D supplement, it is important to take it with a fatty meal which can maximize the body’s ability to utilize the vitamin.
Parents may supplement their Vitamin D with KC Pro-Nutrients D3 2,000, D3 5,000, or D3 Liquid. Our D3 Liquid is cholecalciferol derived from lanolin and provided in a liquid base of sunflower oil and purified water, and is prepared to maximize absorption.
WHAT & HOW:
Zinc supports a healthy immune system in many ways:
- Assists in the development of immune cells, crucial for fighting infections.
- Helps enzymes that control immune cell activities, cell growth, and antibody production.
- Acts as a defender by reducing damage from harmful molecules and regulates inflammation.
- Supports the body's protective barriers like skin and mucous membranes, preventing germs from entering.
- Helps the body remember past infections, making future defenses stronger.
Studies have shown that zinc supplementation during the first 24 hours of showing symptoms of the common cold decreased the duration and severity in 33% of cases4.
RECOMMENDATION for kids:
- To maintain your child’s immune system, give 5 - 10 mg of zinc daily.
- To reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, give 10 - 20 mg of zinc within 24 hours of first signs/symptoms.
RECOMMENDATION for parents:
- To maintain your immune system, take 15 - 30 mg of zinc daily.
- To reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, take 75 - 100 mg of zinc within 24 hours of first signs/symptoms.
Healthy zinc levels may also be maintained through a diet rich in meat, eggs, seafood, nuts, and legumes. View more food sources here.
Parents may supplement Zinc intake with KC Pro-Nutrients Optimal Zinc. Our formula is made for enhanced absorption with fully reacted, proprietary TRAACS® amino acid chelate.
It is good to remember that a good child’s health cannot be supported with a supplement alone, but with a comprehensive healthy routine that includes a whole food diet, adequate hydration, sleep, and exercise. Good luck this school year!
More Recommended Products for Kids:
- Garden of Life Kids Immune Gummy: Helps support your child’s immune system with vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. They’re sugar-free and cherry flavored to ensure your child enjoys taking their supplement to bring them back to good health.
- Smarty Pants Kids Complete Gummies: These gummies not only include multiple vitamins but also omega-3s and choline to support your child’s overall health.
- Nordic Omega-3 Gummies: Give your child a super tasty and tangerine-flavored gummy packed with omega-3s to help support their brain development.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center. Vitamin C.
- Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;2013(1):CD000980. doi: 10.1002/14651858.
- Bucher A, White N. Vitamin C in the Prevention and Treatment of the Common Cold. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016 Feb 9;10(3):181-183.
- National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C.
- Rondanelli M, Miccono A, Lamburghini S, Avanzato I, Riva A, Allegrini P, Faliva MA, Peroni G, Nichetti M, Perna S. Self-Care for Common Colds: The Pivotal Role of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea in Three Main Immune Interactive Clusters (Physical Barriers, Innate and Adaptive Immunity) Involved during an Episode of Common Colds-Practical Advice on Dosages and on the Time to Take These Nutrients/Botanicals in order to Prevent or Treat Common Colds. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 29;2018:5813095.
- National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center. Vitamin D
- National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Zinc.
- Rao G, Rowland K. PURLs: Zinc for the common cold--not if, but when. J Fam Pract. 2011 Nov;60(11):669-71.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center. Zinc.
- Hemilä H. Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. JRSM Open. 2017 May 2;8(5):2054270417694291.