Key Nutrients for Children’s Immune HealthOct 31, 2022 03:00PM ● By Keri Barron
Vitamin C is probably the best-known nutrient for supporting immune health, in both adults and children. Vitamin C can stimulate the immune system and plays a critical role in preventing oxidative damage that can occur as part of the response to
Zinc, a mineral involved in hundreds of reactions in the body, is an important component for rapidly diving cells, including those in the immune system. Zinc helps defend against oxidative stress, increases components of the immune response, such as antibodies, and helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucosal membranes, the first line of defense against invading pathogens.
Gut health is an important, but often forgotten, piece of immune health. Maintaining a diverse, healthy population of beneficial bacteria can help the immune system respond properly when it encounters a pathogen. Probiotics can help deliver specific good bacteria to the gut, whereas prebiotics are a source of food for bacteria that are already present. One specific prebiotic, 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), is a unique prebiotic that is only usable by good bacteria. Providing 2’-FL can help beneficial bacteria flourish, which helps support both gut and immune health. 2’-FL can also act as a binding decoy for toxins and pathogens, preventing invasion into the body.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) can also support children’s immune health. Elderberry contains high concentrations of phenolic compounds called anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants and capable of supporting the immune system’s response to an infection.
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