Fortified cereals might provide too many nutrients

Too many nutrients in fortified breakfast cereals could cause long-term health problems for children eight and younger.

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

Make sure you eat your Wheaties each morning, but not if you’re under 8 years old.

Children may be getting too many vitamins as part of a well-balanced breakfast.

A recent report says fortified breakfast cereals contain too much vitamin A, zinc and niacin for children 8 years and younger.

The report claims these cereals, such as Wheaties and Frosted Flakes, have vitamins and minerals added in adult-size quantities instead of child-size.

That means the recommended daily values on the side of the cereal box could be above the upper intake limit for young children.

Environmental Working Group, the nonprofit research organization which published the study, stated it’s difficult to link vitamin overexposure to specific cases of bad health, but said it might have lasting effects.

The U.S. Health Department states young children in the U.S. are more likely than adults to have trouble getting enough vitamin A. Vitamin A helps boost immune systems and eyesight. Zinc also strengthens immune systems.

But taking too much vitamin A on a regular basis can lead to long-term liver damage, hair loss and peeling skin. Too much zinc can be bad for red and white blood cells.

The EWG recommended eating products with no more than 20 to 25 percent of the adult Daily Value for vitamin A, zinc and niacin, to avoid getting too many nutrients.


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