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Quest Vitamins LTD,
8 Venture Way,
Aston Science Park,
Birmingham,
B7 4AP.

Tel: 0121 359 0056
Fax: 0121 359 0313
Email: info@questvitamins.co.uk
Registered in England No. 2530437

Issue 75

Girls….

Boys….

Health Conditions During Adolescence

Food Supplements During Adolescence

Bone Health

Becoming a healthy vegetarian or vegan

Appealing Eating!

Adolescence is the time of physical and emotional development as a child matures
into an adult. Major life changes occur in the two or three critical early years
of adolescence.

Girls….

Somewhere between the ages of 9 and 16 a girls body starts to change into that
of a woman and the onset of menstruation is the main signal from the body that
the girl is of childbearing age. The changes occur through a series of interactions
between several glands in the body. The hypothalamus is the controlling gland
that works with the pituitary gland to produce gonadotrophin-releasing hormone
that influences the events leading up to the development and growth of a girl
to a woman. The female body produces different hormones including follicle-stimulating
hormone (FSH) and oestrogen. Oestrogen has a profound effect on the development
and future health of the female.

Of the many physical changes including development of the breasts and growth
of underarm and pubic hair, one of the most unwanted physical changes occurring
in girls is the deposition of fat on the hips. "Im getting fat" seems
to be a common cry amongst the 15 - 17 age group, and the reason for this is
nature, through oestrogen, preparing the girls body for its childbearing role.

Boys….

In boys, the start of puberty occurs somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14
when the pituitary gland is stimulated to secrete gonadotrophin hormones which
stimulate testosterone production by the testicles. About two years after this,
characteristic physical changes associated with puberty like hair growth on
chest, abdomen and eventually the face; muscle development, especially around
the upper chest and thighs; the voice drops to a lower pitch or breaks due
to enlargement of the larynx; and the testicles begin to produce sperm. The
age at which all this happens will vary, and the process lasts between two and
two-and-a-half years.

Girls and boys grow taller quite quickly during adolescence. Growth spurts
are common and often the topic of conversation amongst mothers. Sleeping patterns
may change as the body demands more sleep to allow rest during growth. Differences
of opinion between the developing adult and the parents can result in furious
rows and a temporary breakdown in communication between the two age groups.
At this point it may be a good idea for the parents to remember how they behaved
when they were passing through this phase! Other shared aspects of developing
maturity include skin conditions, sweating and body odour.

Health Conditions During Adolescence

Skin conditions (spots, acne, poor skin tone) may be worsened by a high consumption
of chocolate, nuts, cola drinks and milk. The intake of dietary fat may be associated
with sebum production.

Acne may be attributed to the boost which higher hormone levels give to the
production of oily sebum and the growth rate of cells in the epidermis; clogged
by a mixture of dead cells and sebum, some sebaceous glands become inflamed
which then become raised red spots or pus-filled pimples. The condition is usually
more severe in boys than girls. Normally the skin clears in the late teens or
early twenties.

Pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms may be reduced by cutting down on the amount
of chocolate, fizzy drinks, alcohol, saturated fat and caffeine in the diet.
An increase in fruit, vegetables, water, beans, pulses and fish may increase
the beneficial factors that aid metabolism of essential fats in the diet and
may help balance the hormones. Supplementation with evening primrose oil together
with an appropriate multinutrient formula may help promote health prior to menstruation.

Colds, influenza and glandular fever may be made more comfortable by the immune
boosting nutrients and herbs particularly antioxidants, echinacea and aged garlic
extract. In the case of glandular fever, which is a common complaint of the
immune system during teenage years, rest is a very important part of recuperation.

Sweating and body odour can be brought about by hormones especially testosterone.
What your best friend wont tell you, your parents certainly will! Feet and
underarms are probably the worst culprits. Foot care could include washing the
feet regularly and wearing cotton socks to help the skin breathe. Change socks
twice a day (morning and evening) together with a change of shoes. If possible
wear a pair of shoes for one day, and give them a day to dry out properly in
an airy position and the following day wear a different pair, this should also
help prevent athletes foot. A regular wash, shower or bath can reduce body
odour; a shower in the morning is a great way to wake up! The application of
a natural rock crystal deodorant to the underarm area can prevent the odour
caused by bacteria trapped in the skins surface. Sweating is a natural way
of eliminating toxins; deodorants do not stop this important process, antiperspirants
do.

Tiredness is mostly brought on by overwork, or through lack of sleep. It may
be found often especially in teenage girls and may be because of low blood iron
levels, especially in those who are slimming, or if they have heavy periods.
A minor deficiency in the B complex group of vitamins may also contribute to
tiredness.

Food Supplements During Adolescence

The foods that are highest in fat, sugar, salt and lowest in vitamins and minerals
are processed and/or refined foods. If the diet is high in these foods, a multinutrient
supplement may be considered. However, there is no substitute for daily consumption
of fruit and vegetables, as part of regular meals made with a variety of freshly
prepared foods.

B complex vitamins are involved in the release of energy from food, which in
turn contributes to skin, cell and nerve health. Deficiencies of B vitamins
show as lack of energy, poor skin condition, poor concentration and mild depression.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, then a multinutrient containing the
B complex and vitamin C in addition to other vitamins and minerals should be
considered.

The body uses zinc in skin, immunity and eye health; reproductive system development,
digestive enzymes, and sperm production. It would therefore be a good idea to
ensure an adequate intake of zinc from the diet (pumpkin seeds, shellfish, meat,
chicken, fish, dairy, lentils, wholegrains) or by taking a food supplement.

Bone Health

Calcium is involved in bone development, which stops at about the age of thirty.
Adolescent years are the time when bone growth is at its peak. An abundance
of green, leafy vegetables (also a good source of B vitamins, vitamin C, and
magnesium) in the diet may suffer an adolescent attitude attack; however,
calcium-rich sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds rich in zinc as a TV or computer
snack may acceptable. Semi-skimmed milk and cheese in moderation will also supply
calcium.

Exercise is very important for healthy bones and metabolism. Exercise helps
the deposition of mineral salts in the protein framework of the bone (2). Growth
spurts occur in girls around the age of 11 and in boys around the age of 13.
Studies show that 57% of girls aged between 15 and 18 had calcium intakes of
700mg a day (the RDA is 800mg).

A study carried out by Penn State College suggests that exercise is really
the predominant determining factor of bone strength in young women.

Becoming a healthy vegetarian or vegan

Many young people become attracted to a vegetarian or vegan diet during adolescence.
As a matter of interest, vegetarians are more likely to have attended university
than non-vegetarians. However, omitting meat, fish, cheese, dairy, and eggs
and eating more of what is left from the otherwise normal diet will not provide
adequate protein and sources of vitamins and minerals. Both vegetarian and vegan
diets should include a variety of fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and
whole-grains. Ideally, food should be unrefined, unprocessed and fresh to provide
necessary amounts of vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients. Vegetarian or vegan
diets are recognised as beneficial to health, although in practice meals may
have to be more carefully planned than those of a meat-eater, especially when
food knowledge is lacking. Initially, thoughtful shopping and meal preparation
may take longer, especially when a sudden change has been made to the diet.
Not all Mums are prepared to tackle preparing two lots of food especially if
they go out to work! Many families find it easier to base their meals on vegetarian
or vegan option, and then add a piece of meat or fish to the plates of the omnivores.

A vegetarian diet may include cheese, dairy and eggs. A vegan diet should contain
protein-balanced meals for example: pasta with mixed beans in tomato and basil
sauce, baked beans on toast, peanut butter on toast, shepherds pie made with
beans, lentils, barley, and millet and cooked in an onion, garlic and vegetable
bouillon sauce, or rice with lentils. Nut roast and vegetarian burger mixes
are available, which when made up and a few additions made - herbs, crushed
garlic, or tomato paste - can be very tasty and filling! Serve with a good mixed
salad or lots of fresh vegetables, or slice when cold and use in sandwiches.


A vegan multinutrient formula supplement may be useful as an insurance against
low intakes of certain nutrients.

Adolescence is an important passing phase of life that is watched with interest
by the parents, relatives and others looking-on as the child becomes an adult.

Appealing Eating!

Supplying the correct nutrients to support physical and emotional development
through adolescence can be difficult when peer pressure and the forces of market
advertising encourage the consumption of junk food and drinks. Smoking, recreational
drugs and socialising with different types of people through clubs and interest
groups are also some of the joys of growing up.

However, at home, parents could offer a choice of fresh, unprocessed foods and
encourage healthy eating habits. Good food will provide nourishment for the
growing body and promote healthy skin and hair. If food is appealing and smells
good even the most die-hard burger fan should capitulate!

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