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Vitamins for Teenage Growth

author image Melodie Anne
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.
Vitamins for Teenage Growth
Vitamins on a spoon and table besides a glass of water. Photo Credit MarkD800/iStock/Getty Images

Teens need the exact same vitamins as adults. But during that period of time when the skeleton grows quickly and cells are continuously dividing at a fast pace, your teenager needs to focus on getting certain types of vitamins. A poor intake of growth-benefiting vitamins could lead to weak bones and delayed development.

Vitamin D

Promoting the absorption of calcium in the small intestines is the biggest role of vitamin D. This way bones stay strong and form properly. Bone structure isn’t the only reason teens need vitamin D, though. The vitamin also modulates cell growth and differentiation, the process that determines the type of cell that will form. Teen boys and girls have the same recommended dietary allowance, which is 600 international units of vitamin D each day.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a key nutrient for normal growth and development. It functions by regulating the gene expression of a specialized growth hormone. Vitamin A also has a part in regulating gene expression, which is the process by which genetic material converts to proteins and other cell structures. This process influences cell differentiation. The vitamin A recommendation for adolescents varies depending on age and gender. During the preteen years through age 13, your teen needs 600 micrograms per day. From age 14 on, teenage boys need 900 micrograms daily, whereas teen girls in this age bracket require 700 micrograms each day.

Vitamin K

A specific vitamin K-dependent protein, called osteocalcin, is synthesized by bone-forming cells known as osteoblasts. Osteocalcin is believed to aid bone mineralization. Another vitamin K-dependent protein, matrix Gla protein, is a structural component of bone, soft tissue and cartilage, keeping the entire skeleton as sturdy as possibly. Matrix Gla protein, or MGP for short, also facilitates bone growth and development. Some other vitamin K-dependent proteins are required for cellular growth. Your preteen needs 60 micrograms of vitamin K up through age 13. From ages 14 through 18, both boys and girls require 75 micrograms.

Vitamin C

Connective tissues and even bones are made up of a soft tissue called collagen. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining and creating collagen, which can happen at rapid rates during growth periods. This vitamin is also likely to have a role in bone density. This means that low levels of vitamin C could increase the risk of fractures and bone loss; however, research is still mixed. All preteens should get 45 milligrams daily. Teen boys from 14 to 18 years of age require 75 milligrams, while girls in this age group need 65 milligrams a day.

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