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  • 5 Ways To Help Your Child Boost Their Immunity

    Make sure they eat enough fruits and veggies!
5 Ways To Help Your Child Boost Their Immunity
  • The ongoing health crisis has caused many of us to be more mindful of our health and lifestyle. Aside from constantly washing our hands, doctors and health experts also advise us to strengthen our immunity.

    As mothers to young children, how do you boost your child’s resistance? Here are some ways:

    Make sure children get enough sleep

    Research suggests that lack of sleep can make you more vulnerable to illness. This is true not only for adults but also for children and infants.

    How much sleep do they need? Experts say infants may need 12 to 15 hours of sleep, while toddlers need at least 11 to 14 hours. Preschoolers, meanwhile, need at least 10 to 13 hours of sleep.1

    Encourage children to be more active

    Regular activity in children rejuvenates their natural killer cells, which can help boost their immunity and fight off dreaded diseases.2

    Encourage children to move more by taking on a more “active” role yourself. Be a good role model! Instead of urging them to play by themselves, exercise with them. Walk and jog around the neighborhood early in the morning, or do some simple stretching indoors.

    Instill cleanliness in children

    Proper hygiene, particularly handwashing, helps prevent the spread of germs and thus can help keep your child safe from diseases.3 Help them develop the habit of washing their hands before and after eating, and after certain activities like touching pets, playing, and blowing their nose.

    Choose soaps that have interesting shapes and colors to encourage your kids to wash their hands more.

    Other practices to keep in mind include throwing out your child’s toothbrush if they get sick, as this can be an avenue for germs to hop on from one item to another. Going out? Always carry disposable wipes.

    Keep children away from secondhand smoke

    Moms and dads already know this, but it never hurts to repeat: Keep children away from smokers. They are especially vulnerable to the ill- effects of second-hand smoking because their bodies are still developing. Secondhand smoking also increases the chances of your children getting respiratory diseases.4

    Feed your child more fruits and vegetables

    Green beans, carrots, strawberries, and oranges contain carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals.5

    Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and zinc, such as guava, broccoli, and cauliflower, can help boost immunity to help fight off viruses.6

    What else can vitamin C and zinc do? Keep reading.

    The benefits of vitamin C and zinc

    Vitamin C and zinc, collectively known as the “Powerhouse of Immunity” — along with vitamin D17— play an essential role in enhancing immunity and maintaining overall health.6 They also limit the level of chemicals called cytokines, some of which can be harmful to the body and are produced during infections.7

    While vitamin C provides overall immunity and helps fight off respiratory illnesses, zinc helps increase the production of white blood cells such as T cells, which fight off infections.8

    Other benefits of vitamin C and zinc, especially when combined, include the following:

    1. Vitamin C and zinc protect lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates from free radicals generated during normal metabolism, as well as upon exposure to pollutants and toxins such as smoking. In short, they help boost your child’s immunity.8,9,10
    2. Vitamin C and zinc help fight and reduce the effects of the common cold.11,12
    3. While vitamin C enhances iron absorption13, zinc promotes healthy development and growth18 and helps children heal their wounds faster.14
    4. Vitamin C promotes the growth of lymphocytes, or the white blood cells that contain antibodies that help fight off foreign invaders in the body.15

    Aside from eating fruits and vegetables, children can have their daily dose of vitamin C and zinc through supplements that may help ward off infections and help boost their immunity in the process.6,7,8

    Poten-Cee Plus is a non-acidic Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate) + Zinc food supplement in syrup form for kids.

    Poten-Cee Plus may be given to children ages 4 years old and above. The recommended use per age group:

    • 4-12 years old - 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml)
    • 13 years old and above - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2.5ml to 5ml)

    Poten-Cee Plus can be taken once a day or as recommended by a health care practitioner. It comes in the following preparation and SRPs:

    • 60ml – PHP83.75
    • 120ml – PHP148.00
    • 250ml bottles – PHP264.00

    What’s more, Poten-Cee Plus comes in a sweet citrus flavor to help moms entice their children to take their vitamins.

    Poten-Cee Plus is available in Mercury, Watsons, Southstar Drug, and other leading drugstores and supermarkets nationwide. It is also available for online delivery through the Lazada, Shopee, Watsons, and Southstar Drug websites.

    Poten-Cee Plus is locally distributed by Pascual Consumer Healthcare Corp, a member of the PascualLab Family.


    1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29073412
    a) The panel agreed that, for healthy individuals with normal sleep, the appropriate sleep duration for newborns is between 14 and 17 hours, infants between 12 and 15 hours, toddlers between 11 and 14 hours, preschoolers between 10 and 13 hours, and school-aged children between 9 and 11 hours. For teenagers, 8 to 10 hours was considered appropriate, 7 to 9 hours for young adults and adults, and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults.

    2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25892449/#:~:text=High%20physical% 20activity
    %20in%20young%20children%20seems%20to%20have%20positive,%3B% 20im mune%20response%3B%20young%20children
    a) High physical activity in young children seems to have positive effects on the immune system by altering autoantigen-induced immune activity.

    3 https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/child-development.html
    a) Sanitation and hygiene are critical to health. - Diarrheal diseases are common and largely preventable. Children are at particular risk for diarrhea and other diseases related to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene. Proper hygiene education is a critical step in reducing illness and death from diarrheal disease. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied whether good hygiene can prevent diarrhea in young children
    1. Some children in the study were given intensive handwashing promotion for 9 months, and others were not. Children whose families received soap for their handwashing stations and education about handwashing experienced approximately half as much diarrhea as children in a control group during the first 2 1/2 years of their lives, a critical time in their development

    4 https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/secondhand_smoke/chil dren-ho me/index.htm
    a) Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.
    b) Secondhand smoke exposure causes acute lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and young children.
    c) Secondhand smoke exposure causes children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks.1,2
    d) Secondhand smoke exposure causes respiratory symptoms, including cough, phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness, among school-aged children.

    5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941826
    a) Although many of the health effects of carotenoids seem to be linked to their antioxidant and inflammatory functions, carotenoids have a host of other functions that are significant

    6 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373990
    a) Vitamin C contributes to maintaining the redox integrity of cells and thereby protects them against reactive oxygen species generated during the respiratory burst and in the inflammatory response. Likewise, zinc undernutrition or deficiency was shown to impair cellular mediators of innate immunity such as phagocytosis, natural killer cell activity, and the generation of oxidative burst. Therefore, both nutrients play important roles in immune function and the modulation of host resistance to infectious agents, reducing the risk, severity, and duration of infectious diseases.

    7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683
    a) in vitro addition of vitamin C to peripheral blood monocytes isolated from pneumonia patients decreased the generation of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-? and IL-6 [86]. However, another study found that in vitro treatment of peripheral blood monocytes with vitamin C and/or vitamin E enhanced LPS-stimulated TNF-? generation, but did not affect IL-1? generation [87]. Furthermore, incubation of vitamin C with virus-infected human and murine fibroblasts enhanced generation of antiviral IFN [91,92,93]. Supplementation of healthy human volunteers with 1 g/day vitamin C (with and without vitamin E) was shown to enhance peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived IL-10, IL-1, and TNF-? following stimulation with LPS [87,94]. Thus, the effect of vitamin C on cytokine generation appears to depend on the cell type

    8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2277319
    a) In HL-60 cells (promyelocytic leukemia cell line), zinc enhances the up- regulation of A20 mRNA, which, via TRAF pathway, decreases NF-?B activation, leading to decreased gene expression and generation of tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), IL-1?, and IL-8. We have reported recently that in both young adults and elderly subjects, zinc supplementation decreased oxidative stress markers and generation of inflammatory cytokines.
    b) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683 Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress. Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and can enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. It is also needed for apoptosis and clearance of the spent neutrophils from sites of infection by macrophages, thereby decreasing necrosis/NETosis and potential tissue damage. The role of vitamin C in lymphocytes is less clear, but it has been shown to enhance differentiation and proliferation of B- and T-cells, likely due to its gene regulating effects. Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections. In turn, infections significantly impact on vitamin C levels due to enhanced inflammation and metabolic requirements. Furthermore, supplementation with vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections. Prophylactic prevention of infection requires dietary vitamin C intakes that provide at least adequate, if not saturating plasma levels (i.e., 100–200 mg/day), which optimize cell and tissue levels. In contrast, treatment of established infections requires significantly higher (gram) doses of the vitamin to compensate for the increased inflammatory response and metabolic demand.

    9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5488004
    a) Zinc influences the expression of glutamate-cysteine ligase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of glutathione, which acts directly on the neutralization of free radicals. Zinc also inhibits the NMDA receptors involved in the transport of calcium from the extracellular environment to the cytosol.

    10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614697
    a) Health benefits of vitamin C are antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti- carcinogenic, immunomodulator. The positive effect of vitamin C resides in reducing the incidence of stomach cancer, and in preventing lung and colorectal cancer. Vitamin C works synergistically with vitamin E to quench free radicals and also regenerates the reduced form of vitamin E

    11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394849
    a) We included 17 trials involving a total of 2121 participants. Compared with patients given placebo, those receiving zinc had a shorter duration of cold symptoms (mean difference ?1.65 days, 95% confidence interval [CI]?2.50 to ?0.81); however, heterogeneity was high (I2 = 95%). Zinc shortened the duration of cold symptoms in adults (mean difference ?2.63, 95% CI ?3.69 to ?1.58), but no significant effect was seen among children (mean difference?0.26, 95% CI ?0.78 to 0.25). Heterogeneity remained high in all subgroup analyses, including by age, dose of ionized zinc and zinc formulation. The occurrence of any adverse event (risk ratio [RR] 1.24, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.46), bad taste (RR 1.65, 95% CI 1.27 to 2.16) and nausea (RR 1.64, 95% CI 1.19 to 2.27) were more common in the zinc group than in the placebo group.

    12 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409678
    a) The effect of vitamin C on the duration and severity of the common cold has been studied in regular supplementation trials and in therapeutic trials. Regular supplementation means that vitamin C was administered each day over the whole study period, and the outcome is the duration and severity of colds that occurred during the study. Therapeutic vitamin C trial means that vitamin C administration was started only after the first common cold symptoms had occurred and the duration of colds were then recorded. In regular supplementation studies, ?0.2 g/day of vitamin C decreased the duration of colds by 9% (Table 4). When the dosage was ?1 g/day of vitamin C, the mean duration of colds was shortened by 8% in adults and by 18% in children. Vitamin C also significantly alleviated the severity of the colds.

    13 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6940487
    a) Ascorbic acid facilitates iron absorption by forming a chelate with ferric iron at acid pH that remains soluble at the alkaline pH of the duodenum. High cost and instability during food storage are the major obstacles to using ascorbic acid in programs designed to combat nutritional iron deficiency anemia.

    14 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793244
    a) Zinc is a micronutrient that is essential to human health. Zinc plays a major role in regulating every phase of the wound healing process; ranging from membrane repair, oxidative stress, coagulation, inflammation and immune defence, tissue re-epithelialization, angiogenesis, to fibrosis/scar formation.

    15 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874527
    a) AA has multiple effects on the development, proliferation and function of lymphocytes. An overview of these effects and the relationship between different cell types can be seen in Figure 1. T-lymphocytes have been most extensively studied in this context: AA positively influences T cell development and maturation, especially in case of AA deficiency.

    16 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3724376
    a) Height-for-age, a measure of nutritional stunting, is the best known and easiest to measure of the adverse outcomes associated with zinc deficiency in populations. Stunting prevalence is expressed as the percentage of children under 5 years of age with height-for-age below the expected range of a reference population (i.e., < 2.0 standard deviations with respect to the reference median). WHO considers a prevalence of stunting greater than 20% of the population to indicate a public health concern.[11] As zinc deficiency is not the only factor affecting children's growth, assessment of dietary zinc intake and serum zinc levels can be used to confirm the risk of zinc deficiency in these high-risk countries.[11]
    b) The causes and etiology of stunting include the following: (1) Nutrition (energy, macronutrients, micronutrients and toxic factors); (2) infection (injury to gastrointestinal mucosa, systemic effects and immunostimulation); and 3) mother-infant interaction (maternal nutrition and stores at birth, and behavioral interactions).[80]
    c) Growth stunting could be the consequence of deficiency of one or several nutrients. In communities in which stunting is prevalent, it is highly likely that several nutrient de?ciencies occur simultaneously in the stunted children. In a study in a rural community in Mexico, 82% of children 18-36 months of age were de?cient in at least two micronutrients out of ?ve that were determined (iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and riboflavin).[81] Results of studies with single nutrient supplementation are con?icting; thus, that there is no consistent evidence for any nutrient that its use for supplementation will promote linear growth. In the case of Mexican preschoolers in whom de?ciencies of multiple micronutrients were demonstrated, no effect on linear growth was found after 1 year of supplementation with zinc and/or iron. Although, supplementation with multiple micronutrients produced a signi?cant increment in linear growth, the actual increment in height was much less than the potential increment expected

    17 https://coromega.com/blogs/the-squeeze/the-powerhouse-of-immunity- vitamin-d vitamin-c-zinc
    *this is not a medical term and is just a moniker given to the 3 vitamins

    18 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872795
    a) In conclusion, our systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials indicate that zinc supplementation in children improves specific growth outcomes, with potentially stronger effects of supplementation in children after age 2 years. Our findings support the role of zinc for certain child growth outcomes in infants and children under five years of age.



This article is sponsored by POTEN-CEE.