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Multivitamin Plus Zinc May Boost Height In Children

Zinc is an essential mineral that has been linked to maintaining a healthy immune system, healing wounds, helping with growth, supporting the reproductive system, and improved eye health. A recent study suggests that giving school children a multivitamin that includes zinc may lead to greater height gain.

Participants in the study included 140 healthy Thai schoolchildren between the ages of 4 and 13.  They were given either a placebo or zinc bis-glycinate containing 20 mg elemental zinc plus a multivitamin containing vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, nicotinamide, and vitamin D five days per week for six months.

At the end of the study, the researchers noted that the supplement group grew an average 2 inches, compared with 1.25 inches in the placebo group. The difference in height gains became apparent after two months of supplementation.

Researchers from Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 15, 2016, in Pediatrics International.

The human body cannot make zinc, so it’s important to get it from food and supplement sources. Zinc can be found in many foods, including oysters, beef, crab, fortified cereals, lobster, beans, yogurt, nuts, milk, chicken, cheese, and oatmeal. You can also consume zinc in a supplement form, but be careful not to take too much. Intakes of greater than 150 mg per day have been associated with negative side effects, such as a weakened immune system.

Previous studies have shown that multivitamins may aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and boost general physical health. Other studies have also shown that the cells of people who routinely take multivitamins have a younger biological age.

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