Parents, if you’re reading this article, it means that you are curious to find out more about nutrient absorption and its role in your child’s development.
Perhaps you have found that your child is not growing well or you are concerned about their physical development.
Nutrient absorption does play a role in your child’s overall development but most parents may not know what it is.
We are here to break it down for you.
Nutrient Absorption: What Is It?
A quick Google search will take you to a lot of scientific articles or journals that are packed with medical terms that most laymen would not understand off the bat.
Something so important to our children’s health should not be too hard to understand.
Nutrient absorption, simply put, is the main function of our small intestine.
So we know the human body has a large and a small intestine.
The large intestine is used to absorb water and salts from the material that has not been digested as food, and get rid of the remaining wasted products.
The small intestine carries out most of the digestive process, absorbing almost all the nutrients obtained from food consumed.
1 Collins, J. T. (2020, August 10). Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Small Intestine. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459366/
Some of the nutrients absorbed by the small intestine include carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, iron, vitamins, and water2.
But did you know what if yours, or your child’s body is lacking certain nutrients, the absorption of other nutrients may not be as effective.
Complementary Nutrients: Eating Right For The Whole Family
What is now known as food synergy, nutritionists are advising people to eat foods that complement each other in nutritional value for better nutrient absorption.
Nutrients never stand alone. In fact, they have relationships with each other that we need to understand in order to enhance our nutrient absorption.
2 Libretexts. (2020, August 14). 22.13A: Absorption in the Small Intestine. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://med.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Anatomy_and_Physiology/Book:_Anatomy_and_Physiology_(Boundless)/22:_Digestive_System/22.13:_Absorption/22.13A:_Absorption_in_the_Small_Intestine
There are some key nutrients that are crucial in a child’s development, such as vitamin C, iron, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, protein, to name a few.
So as parents, it’s pertinent to know what we are feeding our kids and how the nutrients complement each other.
For example, if you are feeding your child plenty of vitamin C in their diet, they are more likely to absorb iron effectively. To put it into real meals, if you’re eating a lot of dark leafy vegetables, which are rich in vitamin C, the body is able to absorb more iron from fish or lean meats.
When the two foods are paired together, it makes for good food synergy.
Another example is Vitamin D and calcium, wherein vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which are all key nutrients for strong bones3.
Vitamin B12 and folate are another two top nutrients that are talked about in child development. Folate is dependent on vitamin B12 to be absorbed, stored and metabolised4.
We commonly feed our kids meat, eggs, milk, and other foods of animal origin, which are rich in vitamin B12, while natural sources of folate include leafy green vegetables, beans, and legumes.
Keeping Nutrient Absorption In Mind
3 Harvard Health. (2009, July). Nutrition's dynamic duos. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Nutritions-dynamic-duos
4 Harvard Health. (2009, July). Nutrition's dynamic duos. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Nutritions-dynamic-duos
Since milk is a staple in our children’s diet, it is also important to ensure the focus is on nutrient absorption when choosing our child’s milk.
Dumex Mamil ® has a Unique Prebiotics Mixture GOS/lcFOS (9:1) to maintain a good intestinal environment, which supports good nutrient absorption for your child’s overall growth and health.
It is engineered with D-GestPro+™, which is a combination of Unique Prebiotics Mixture GOS/lcFOS (9:1), Protein, Calcium and Vitamin D sourced from cow’s milk as well as a 96mg DHA* content.
With all the nutrients in place to complement each other, you can be sure that your child’s nutrient absorption is on the right track.
*Mamil ® Step 3 contains 96mg DHA content based 3 servings per day
5Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-35. 6Coudray C, Demigné C, Rayssiguier Y. Effects of Dietary Fibers on Magnesium Absorption in Animals and Humans. J Nutr. 2003;133(1):1-4