There are a few multivitamin supplements that are being created or recommended for people with Down syndrome. Personally we have used MSB, Nutrivene and Vitaspectrum with our daughter with no issues. However our children are unique individuals and these multivitamin formulas sadly will not be suitable for every child.
Nutrivene was formulated by Dixie Lawrence and the Trisomy 21 Research Foundation.
Nutrivene is the multivitamin I currently use for my daughter. It is a very comprehensive product. One thing to be aware of is that some children may initially respond adversely to the product. It can take a little while in some cases for the child to be able to take the full dose without a negative response, which can vary in the individual. The guide is that it is best to take it low and slow. Some children do not like the taste either. They have a microencapsulated product so if you think this will be a problem, this is the one to choose.
Before You Give Any Supplements to Your Child with Down Syndrome, Here are 10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You. By Kent MacLeod, B.Sc.Phm.
What I like about this product is it comes in many flavours, tastes great, small dosage, but and this is a big but…. the standard formulation contains Copper.
Down syndrome patients have often been found to have elevated levels of copper. These elevations have been found in erythrocytes, neutrophils, platelets, and serum. Interestingly, one study found normal copper levels in those with Down syndrome who had poor dietary intakes of copper which may suggest that some metabolic disturbance increases copper retention in this population.
So why is there copper in MSB? Well I asked Kent MacLeod and this is what he said:
"First of all it is well established that there is an important relationship between copper and zinc. If parents or doctors are interested or concerned in any way we can provide references.
Second, we have measured copper levels in 100's if not 1000's of individuals with DS and have only found one case of excessive copper (before using MSB).
On the other hand as zinc levels are increased in supplements it is important to balance this with some copper."
I am also a member of the Nutrichem Down syndrome discussion group
This is what they posted in there when asked about copper:
"I just wanted to reiterate that we are aware that there has been a rumour going around stating that copper is dangerous for children. Research shows that individuals with Down Syndrome tend to have low zinc levels and this might be caused by their higher than normal copper levels. This just means that it is extra important for individuals with Down Syndrome to supplement with zinc. Giving someone zinc without copper may have detrimental effects. Health Canada is aware of this and it is therefore mandatory to add a small amount of copper to any vitamin mineral supplement that contains zinc. There is actually no scientific evidence that supports the theory that copper is harmful.
It is well established that there is a very important balance between zinc and copper, with an over emphasis on zinc and a tendency to ignore copper's benefits. When zinc intake is too high relative to copper levels, the excess zinc actually interferes with enzyme activity, which depends on copper. When copper is not properly incorporated the enzymes cannot fulfil their chemical duties. Copper is necessary for many biochemical processes in the body including regulation of cholesterol, red blood cell production, hormone production and antioxidant effects.
In terms of the ratio of zinc to copper in our formula at the full dose of four scoops the ratio is 25mg of zinc to 1 mg of copper. This is an optimal ratio as the dosage of zinc should always be higher than that of copper. I hope this clears up the confusion regarding this issue as we have been receiving a lot of questions about it."
Nutrichem will make MSB without copper for the same price as the standard version, you just have to ask when you order
Another option is to get a customised formula – you can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I will admit I don’t know much about this product. It contains iron, which means if you used it you must check your childs levels of iron frequently. In the case of my daughter for example during her last blood tests her iron levels were found to be high. It also contains copper. Personally I would not use this product for my child given the iron and copper in it.
This is actually created for children with Autism. It is recommended by Dr Erica Peirson. She recommends this product as Nutrivene is not tolerated by several of her clients. (Dr Peirson looks after my daughter)
Beth has been on this with no problems, it tastes good (well she doesn’t complain) It can however be hard to find a company that will ship it over to Australia. I have purchased through Naturally Healthy Concepts although they say you need to be seeing a US practitioner to order. I have also seen it for sale and happy to ship overseas via Amazon. In Europe you can order through Mandi Mart.
Further information on these supplements can be found here: DS Day to Day - Which multivitamin