Every parent wants to help their child reach for the stars. But what about reaching the highest shelf in the closet—is there anything you can do to help them reach those heights? Possibly! Research suggests that zinc supplements paired with multivitamins may help children at high risk of nutrient deficiencies to grow taller. The study was published in Pediatrics International and included 70 healthy children, ages 4 to 13, who attended a public school in central Thailand, where zinc and vitamin deficiencies are common. The children were randomly assigned to two groups: one group received a zinc bis-glycinate supplement providing 20 mg of elemental zinc, plus a multivitamin with B vitamins, and vitamins A and D, five days a week for six months; the other group received a placebo for the same amount of time. At the beginning and end of the six months, the children’s height, weight, BMI (body mass index), waist and hip circumference, and waist-to-height ratio were measured. At the end of the study, researchers discovered that:
Regardless of their height and weight at the beginning of the study, two months after the children began treatment, the zinc/multivitamin group started to experience a statistically significant increase in height compared with the placebo group.
By the end of the study, children in the zinc/multivitamin group grew 3.6 to 6.2 cm, while the placebo group grew 2.7 to 4.5 cm.
There were no further differences in other measures of body growth during the study.
These findings support previous research that shows zinc and other vitamins are essential for normal growth during childhood. If you want to boost your child’s zinc intake, food sources include oysters, crab, sesame and pumpkin seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, beef, and fortified cereals. A zinc supplement may also be a good choice; just be sure to talk with your child’s pediatrician before adding supplements to their healthcare regimen.
Source: Pediatrics International