Doctors concerned, children taking too many dietary supplements

Posted at 1:32 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 14:32:06-04

A national family survey revealed that 1/3 of children and teenagers take vitamins and dietary supplements. However pediatricians and doctors say it’s not necessary, and could even be harmful when taken in excessive amounts.

Dr. James Mobley, the medical director of the San Patricio County Department of Public Health, says children who have a well-balanced diet do not need to take vitamins or supplements to stay healthy. Plus, medications that are safe for adults may not be safe in children.

"Children are not just miniature adults. They’re growing systems, especially their brains," Dr. Mobley said. "All of their other organs are in the process of growing and maturing," he added.

Dr. Mobley adds there are very few studies done on children. Their bodies are still developing, and putting a chemical into a child’s body to do a study, could be a danger itself.

Dr. Mobley also says many of the labels on vitamins and supplements should be taken with a grain of salt.

"Most of these have not been tested. So we just don’t know," Dr. Mobley said. "It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong, it means we don’t know it," he added.

Taking too many vitamins can cause a number of health problems like an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

The national survey also states the use of supplements like Melatonin, Omega-3 and fish oil are also on the rise. Those supplements are often given to kids with ADHD and other attention disorders.?