It is generally safe for most children, teens, and young adults to take a multivitamin product. If you are going to take a multivitamin, try and find a brand without sugar and sugar substitutes and consult with your primary care physician to find out if the brand you have chosen is appropriate or if he/she has a specific brand to recommend.
Generally, safe doses for vitamins and minerals have been established and are called Dietary Reference Intakes (formerly known as RDAs or Recommended Daily Allowances). There is a Dietary Reference Intakes on Vitamins. However, it is important to know that these levels only specify what is needed to avoid deficiencies and major health problems – it is still unclear as to what the ideal level of each nutrient is for each person for optimal health.
FX also wants our readers to know that there is such thing as taking too much of a vitamin. Some vitamins, such as vitamin A, can cause obvious symptoms when dosing it too high, such as headaches. Other vitamins can cause internal metabolic problems that won’t be evident until much later. A genera list of vitamin side-effects can be found at the EMedicine webpage Toxicity, Vitamin.
Most people do not significantly benefit from all of these newer high-priced vitamin waters. Many of these drinks contain large amounts of sugar and salt, and actually have very little amounts of vitamins. In addition, these vitamin drinks are not regulated by the government as medicines, but as food – so there is really no way to know what health benefit or harm may result from drinking them. Rather than going for these vitamin drinks, FX recommends that you stick to plain drinking water – you will get more out of it than you think.
TeenHealthFX does not endorse any particular brands, but if you are curious you can see a list of Sport Drinks: Winners and Losers presented by ABC News, Good Morning America to get a sense of what drinks their experts thought you should go for and steer clear of.
Ideally, it is best to get all of your needed nutrients from eating a healthy, well-balanced diet rather than depending on vitamins. This includes eating the healthy types of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. To really thrive, getting a decent amount of sleep and getting regular exercise are also important.
What FX wants to stress here is that if you are putting the time into researching good vitamins, then also make sure you are investing time into ensuring that you are maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep every night. Think of vitamins as a kind of back-up plan against deficiencies and as a tool for optimal health rather than a replacement for healthy eating. Remember that your body does not absorb the healthy nutrients from vitamins in the same way it does from actual foods – so it is very important to include foods in your diet that are rich in valuable vitamins and nutrients.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that children and teens under the age of 18 use any kind of supplements for the purpose of fitness, body building, or weight control. The components of some of the supplements may pose a danger to the kidneys, liver, and heart. Some even have steroids in them, and others have been loaded up with dangerous amount of ephedra, an herbal stimulant.
“Natural Health” Products and Supplements
Discuss with your health care provider any natural health products you would like to take, especially if you are taking any kind of prescription medication, so that you can ensure proper use of the supplement. Any supplement – nutritional supplement or herbal products – can interfere with prescription medication.
Again, speak with your doctor about the multivitamin choice that is right for you. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.
Teens often abuse prescription drugs because of the myth that these drugs provide a medically safe high.
It is estimated that major depressive disorder (MDD) affects about 5% of adolescents, and that between 10 - 15% of adolescents have some symptoms of depression at any one time.
Statistics show that giving a teen a credit card does not teach them to be financially responsible or to encourage self-restraint, but actually promotes a “spend now and deal with the consequences later” mindset.
Girls are more likely to intentionally abuse prescription drugs than boys.
The reality of excessive interest rates and fees that often accompany credit card use for teens, can put youngsters in a position where they are losing out on admission to graduate school, getting a job, or renting an apartment because of damaged credit history.
Less than 33% of teens with depression get help, yet 80% of teens with depression can be successfully treated if they seek help from a doctor or therapist.
Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for all persons age 6-33, and about 45% of these fatalities are alcohol-related crashes.
About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.
30% of teens with depression also have a substance abuse problem.
Freshmen bring an average of $1,585.00 in credit card debt to college.
About a third of women who seek services related to unprotected sex, such as pregnancy testing or emergency contraception, do not receive STD counseling, testing, or treatment.
7-10% of college students will drop out of school because of credit problems.
Teens with untreated depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to higher rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Most smokers begin smoking as teens, and the average age of initiation is 12.5 years of age.
People with manic symptoms and Bipolar Disorder II are at a significant risk of later developing an alcohol abuse or dependence problem.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group.
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is the highest of any industrialized democracy, nearly twice that of Great Britain and 10 times that of Japan. 4
Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use, and male high school students are more likely than female students to rarely or never wear seat belts.
A national study of women ages 15-44 found that women were almost twice as likely to receive contraceptive services rather than STD services.
The teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. is at its lowest level in thirty years, down 36% since its peak in 1990. Research suggests that both increased abstinence and positive changes in contraceptive practice are responsible these recent declines in teen pregnancy.
A sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year. 8
In the United States, at least 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders. 11
Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds overall. 16
Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. 22
One in four teenage girls in the U.S. had at least one common sexually transmitted disease.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths ages 15 to 20. 19
The highest Chlamydia rates occurred among women ages 15 to 19 and 20 to 24.
About 44% of rape victims are under age 18. Three out of every twenty victims (15%) are under age 12. 25
Each year, half of all HIV infections are among people under the age of 25.
Crash risk is particularly high during the first year that teenagers are eligible to drive.
One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. 23
Teen girls ages 15-19 have the highest Gonorrhea rate of any age group.
The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16-19 is more than one and half times that of their female counterparts.
More than four in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 - nearly one million teen pregnancies a year 3
The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers; the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in this country. More than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, and most of them began using tobacco before the age of 18.
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.
Underage drinking costs the U.S. more than $58 billion every year; enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.
At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.
Teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and sexual assault, have serious problems in school, be involved in drinking-related traffic crashes, and develop problems with alcohol later in life.
Nearly all the poison deaths in the U.S. are attributed to drugs, and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs.
Alcohol kills 6.5 times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.
Persons aged 15-24, who represent only 14% of the U.S. population, account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) among females.
Among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana.