What Are Vitamin K2 and Arginine and Why Are They So Important to children growth?

When it comes to a kid’s growth and development, nutrients such as Vitamin D, calcium, protein, and fibre are of the utmost importance. Kids who fall behind in growth, need access to complete, balanced nutrition to support their healthy growth and development.  Some of the nutrients that could be missing these kids’ everyday meals could include Vitamin D, calcium, fibre, and some lesser known nutrients like Arginine and Vitamin K2. They are two important factors to help build longer and stronger bones in children. However, the benefits of these two nutrients are often overlooked. How do they benefit the children and what can parents do to make the most of these nutrients to help their kids reach the optimal growth and height?

What is vitamin K2 and Arginine?

Nutrition is the key to children’s healthy growth and development. If a child does not receive adequate nutrients for comprehensive growth during the first five years, he/she will become vulnerable later in life in terms of both physical, intellectual, emotional and behavioural issues. When it comes to kids’ growth and development, Vitamin D, calcium, protein and carbohydrates are often referred to as the key factors.

It is widely known that Vitamin D and calcium both contribute to building strong, healthy bones in kids, fibre is important for supporting a healthy digestive system, and protein plays an essential role in many bodily functions, including recovery and repair of tissues in the muscles, skin, organs, blood, hair and nails.  Vitamin K2 and Arginine have been recognised as important nutrients that help build stronger and longer bones in children.

Vitamin K2 activates the osteocalcin proteins that put calcium into bones. Without Vitamin K2, calcium cannot do its job properly.

Arginine is an important amino acid which plays a role in height growth. It promotes the multiplication of cells at the growth plate in bones to help bones grow longer.

“Research has shown stunted children had significantly lower blood levels of Arginine than normal children and lower arginine intake is associated with slower height growth,” Ph.D. Yen Ling Low - Director, Research & Development - Abbott’s Nutrition R&D Center, Asia Pacific, said.

As 60 per cent of child growth in height happens in the first five years, immediate intervention in this critical window should be taken to prevent stunting, poor immunity and poor cognitive development in the future. That’s why every parent should be aware of this to properly provide their kid with essential nutrients including Vitamin K2 and Arginine.

How to supplement your child’s diet with Vitamin K2 and Arginine?

Adequate nutrition is essential for your child's growth and development. Children who are well provided with important nutrients will become healthy and reach their growth potential best. Without proper nutrition, growth faltering or even stunted growth can occur, leading to illness and cognitive development issues which have serious consequences later in life.

Unfortunately, unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, Vitamin K2 is not stored in the body. That’s why we should focus on both a diet high in Vitamin K and supplement the diet as well.  Arginine is found in foods such as nuts, grains, legumes, meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products while Vitamin K2 is found in meat and fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese or fermented soy products.

The problem with the diet part is that many of the foods like cheese and fermented soy products are not on our children’s favourites lists. Parents may get mad if they try to force kids to eat what they don’t like. Instead, calmly tell them the benefits of such food or find substitutes for them to consume.

“Nutrition for young children is based on the same principles as nutrition for adults. However, children are not adults. Children of different ages need to absorb complete and balance nutrients. If the diet is unable to provide the necessary nutrients such as Arginine and Vitamin K2 for the development of the child, parents may consider supplementing their dietary nutrition to improve nutrient absorption," Dr. Nguyen Gia Khanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Pediatric Association, said.

With more than 30 years as a leader in nutrition research, Abbott has recently launched an innovative childhood nutrition solution, PediaSure improved formula with Arginine and natural Vitamin K2, to help bones grow longer and stronger to support catch-up growth.

“Abbott has been continuously developing products that help babies and children grow, keep their bodies strong and active. PediaSure is the most clinically proven pediatric nutrition supplement shown to enhance catch-up growth and immunity. Now, new PediaSure is upgraded with Arginine and natural Vitamin K2 and is scientifically designed to further support catch-up growth in kids who need it so that more children can fulfil their growth potential,” Yen Ling added.

PediaSure, a complete, balanced nutrition formula with 37 nutrients, has been proven to promote visible growth in height, weight and improve immunity for children at nutritional risk. Particularly, clinical studies have shown that children consuming PediaSure gained weight, height and improved appetite in nine weeks of intervention; had better nutrient adequacy and reduced number of sick days as much as 60 per cent in 12 weeks.

The enhanced formulation of PediaSure with Arginine and natural Vitamin K2 will further support longer and stronger bone growth and may help better address stunting and promote catch-up growth in early childhood.