About 9% of infants are given dietary botanical supplements or teas as young as 1 month old, prompting government researchers to warn physicians to look for side effects and other health risks.
Supplement use is common. Parents use them to help with fussiness, digestion, colic, and relaxation. Parents like them because there’s no prescription required, they’re traditional to many cultures, and they’re marketed as “natural.”
But, caution the authors of a paper that appeared in the journal Pediatrics, such supplements’ purity and potency are unregulated, they can interact with prescription medicines, they may contain heavy metals or other contaminants, and they may not adapt well to a newborn’s metabolism and body weight.
Researchers from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, a longitudinal survey of 2,653 women studied from late pregnancy through the first year of the child’s life. The sample was drawn from a nationally distributed consumer opinion panel of healthy adult mothers with healthy term or near-term infants.
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*