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Is it safe to give vitamin supplements to children?

Q: Should I give any vitamins to my children who are 7 and 4 years old? If so, then what is the dose? I have been giving then multivitamins occasionally, as I fear that too much of vitamins are not good. My friend gives two tablets of seven seas to his children who are 11 and 7 years old. Is that an overdose? Please advise.

A:Vitamin supplements are to be taken only if there is documented, proven deficiency such as in malnourished children or countries where there is very little sunlight (that too only vitamin D). Otherwise they can do more harm than good. Overdose of vitamins leads to hypervitaminosis. Our normal diet has adequate quantities of vitamins. However for purely profit motivation, manufacturers are creating a phobia and people are falling prey to such propaganda. It is much better to give fresh tropical fruits, abundantly available in India, to children rather than make them pop pills.


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