Vitamins are important nutrients required in small amounts for various physiological functions in the body. Children need adequate amounts of vitamins to support their growth and development. Deficiencies in these vitamins can have significant consequences for the health and wellbeing of children. This evidence-based journal aims to explore the effects of vitamin deficiencies in children, including changes in behavior, mood, stress, productivity, sleep, and other relevant parameters.
Vitamin A Deficiency:
Vitamin A is crucial for vision, immune function, and cellular differentiation. Deficiency in vitamin A can lead to several clinical conditions, including xerophthalmia, blindness, respiratory, and gastrointestinal infections. Several studies have investigated the effects of vitamin A deficiency on the cognitive function and behavior of children. A study conducted in Indonesia found that children with vitamin A deficiency had lower IQ scores than children without the deficiency (Semba et al., 1999). Another study conducted in Nepal reported that children with vitamin A deficiency had a higher risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than those without the deficiency (Tielsch et al., 2007).
Vitamin B12 Deficiency:
Vitamin B12 is essential for neurological function, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell production. Deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, neurological disorders, and developmental delays in children. A study conducted in India found that children with vitamin B12 deficiency had a higher risk of developing ADHD and behavioral problems than those without the deficiency (Khandelwal et al., 2014). Another study conducted in Turkey reported that vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with increased anxiety and depression symptoms in children (Gokcen et al., 2016).
Vitamin D Deficiency:
Vitamin D is vital for bone health, immune function, and calcium metabolism. Deficiency in vitamin D can lead to rickets, osteoporosis, and other skeletal disorders. Several studies have investigated the effects of vitamin D deficiency on the mental health and wellbeing of children. A study conducted in the United States reported that children with vitamin D deficiency had higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms than those without the deficiency (Jasti et al., 2018). Another study conducted in Iran found that children with vitamin D deficiency had lower cognitive function and academic performance than those without the deficiency (Dadkhah Tehrani et al., 2019).
Vitamin deficiencies in children can have significant consequences for their physical and mental health. Deficiencies in vitamin A, B12, and D have been associated with changes in behavior, mood, stress, productivity, sleep, and other relevant parameters. Early detection and treatment of vitamin deficiencies in children are crucial to prevent long-term health complications. Therefore, it is recommended that parents and healthcare providers monitor the vitamin status of children and ensure adequate intake of vitamins through a balanced diet or supplements, if necessary.
Dadkhah Tehrani, S., Sedighi, M., Noorazar, G., & Sadeghi, R. (2019). The association of vitamin D deficiency with cognitive function in school-age children. Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM, 32(9), 961-965.
Gokcen, C., Koc, G., Karakurt, M. N., Aksoy, U. M., & Aslan, M. (2016). Vitamin B12 deficiency and psychiatric symptoms in adolescents. Psychiatry research, 238, 1-4.
Jasti, S., Siega-Riz, A. M., Cogswell, M. E., Hartzema, A. G., & Bentley, M. E. (2018). Association of vitamin D deficiency with mental health in children and adolescents