Nutritional Supplements and Upper Respiratory Tract Illnesses in Young Children in the United States

  • Linda A. Linday
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


Key Points

  • In the United States, children have lower blood levels than adults of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an important ω-3 fatty acid that helps decrease inflammation; vitamin A, the “anti-infective” vitamin; and selenium (Se), a trace metal that is an intrinsic part of glutathione peroxidase, an important free-radical scavenging enzyme.

  • EPA, vitamin A, and Se are important in controlling inflammation and can be supplied by oral nutritional supplements.

  • Cod liver oil contains EPA (and other important ω-3 fatty acids), and vitamin A as well as vitamin D.

  • Fish oil contains ω-3 fatty acids (including EPA) but no vitamins.

  • Our clinical research demonstrates that daily supplementation with a flavored cod liver oil (which meets European purity standards) and a children’s multivitamin-mineral with trace metals, including Se, can decrease morbidity from upper respiratory tract illnesses, otitis media, and sinusitis in young children living in the United States.

  • These supplements can be used by practitioners on an individual basis, when clinically indicated; the supplements can be purchased in the United States without a prescription.

  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged children are at risk for micronutrient deficiencies. However, their families may not be able to afford to purchase these supplements, which are not available through Medicaid, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or the Food Stamp Program.

  • If our results are confirmed in larger studies, a system change will be needed to provide these supplements to nutritionally vulnerable, socioeconomically disadvantaged children living in the United States.


Otitis Medium Acute Otitis Medium Latino Child Disadvantaged Child Tympanostomy Tube 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda A. Linday
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, The St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and The College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNewYork
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyThe New York Eye and Ear InfirmaryNew York
  3. 3.New York Medical CollegeValhalla

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