Abstract: During the early years of life, children can be vulnerable to infection. Natural ingredients such as colostrum, zinc, iodine and B-vitamins may provide a boost for your child’s immune system in fighting harmful infections.
Keywords: immune, immunity, colostrums, zinc, iodine, Vitamin B1, B2, B12
Providing a shield for your child against harmful infections is a must.
Childhood infections can often cause quite serious illness and complications, therefore it is important to give your child the best chance at fighting infection by supporting their developing immune system. Nutrition is vital when the body is faced with infection, especially for children as they are more vulnerable. The ability of your immune system to fight infection is influenced by your state of nutrition, therefore it is important to seek those essential nutrients required for the immune system. For newborns and infants, this may be more important as the immune system is still developing and acquiring ‘knowledge’. This refers to the accumulation of antibodies to specifically encountered infections, by our immune memory cells. Priming the immune system with essential nutrients for your child, may improve the immune response and reduce the damaging effect of the infection. The following nutrients are important for your child’s immune health:
Colostrum is the first milk after birth that is rich in growth and immune factors. Mammals supply their newborn with antibodies, immunocytes and humoral constituents, via breastfeeding. This "borrowed immunity" is a form of passive immunisation, protecting the newborn against environmental pathogens until it establishes its own immunity. However, when a newborn stops breastfeeding, usually at around 6 months, they lack this immune benefit. You will need to look for other alternative sources of colostrum, to help prolong the benefits of passive immunization for your child . Colostrum is efficacious in the prophylaxis and treatment of various infectious diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases caused by pathogens like E. coli and rotavirus . Not only does colostrum contain beneficial nutrients such as antibodies, lactose and glycoproteins, colostrum contains lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is a naturally occurring immune modulator and powerful antioxidant, shown to have potent antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties .
Zinc plays an important role in immune function and the modulation of host resistance to infectious agents, reducing the risk, severity and duration of infectious diseases [4, 5]. It is common for apparently healthy, full-term, breastfed children to experience zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency impairs the cellular mediators of innate immunity such as phagocytes and natural killer cells, preventing the generation of oxidative burst. This is obvious in reduced maternal intake of zinc during pregnancy, which is associated with increased asthma and wheezing outcomes in children up to the age of 5 years . Ensuring your child has adequate zinc is important in fighting infection.
Zinc is important for basic metabolic roles in metalloenzymes and transcription factors (cell function and production). It is also an important immunoregulatory agent, growth cofactor, and cytoprotectant with anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory roles . Adequate intakes of zinc have been known to ameliorate symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections including the common cold. Zinc has been noted in reducing the incidence and improving the outcome of pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhoeal infections, especially in children. [4, 8] Zinc has also demonstrated a direct anti-viral effect .
Furthermore, zinc in combination with fish oil has been found to modulate T-cell (immune cell) responses .
Like zinc, it is common for children to experience iodine deficiency . Micronutrients like iodine are required for immune system integrity and function. Iodine is an important mineral for a child’s metabolism. The immune system, as other bodily systems, relies on the body’s metabolism to assist in maintaining health. Children with even mild deficiencies of iodine are more vulnerable to develop frequent and more severe forms of common day-to-day infections, triggering an unhealthy cycle of poor nutrition and recurrent illness .
Vitamins B1, B2, B12
The full genetic potential of a child for physical growth, health and mental development may be compromised due to dietary deficiencies , with considerable evidence showing the close relationship between cellular immunity and vitamins.
Vitamins are important in maintaining and promoting cellular immunity . For instance, a deficiency in vitamin B12 is known to cause a decline in CD4 (immune cell) counts and affect viral progression . Large clinical trials with B group vitamins have found them to be beneficial in homocysteine-lowering therapy. Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with cognitive impairment, depression and chronic immune-mediated disorders. This condition, with age, can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, chronic plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as accelerated atherosclerosis and an increased risk of death as a result of cardiovascular events .
Supplementation with B group vitamins appears to benefit the body’s ability to generate a pathogen-specific immune response, and in particular diarrhoeal disease-related outcomes . Correction of vitamin deficiencies has been shown to reduce symptoms and the likelihood of disease manifestation .
The potential of IQShield to benefit your child’s health and development is significant. With ingredients such as colostrum, zinc, iodine and essential B-vitamins, IQShield should represent a necessary supplement for your child. Presented as chewable fish with tasty orange mango flavor, your child will definitely enjoy IQShield.
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