There have been recent outbreaks of measles in New Zealand which has caused some alarm among parents and carers. Years ago measles was generally considered a childhood disease that did not overly concern most parents. With or without vaccination it is possible to get measles. For the vast majority of suffers it is not a serious illness.
There is a great deal of research that shows clearly that when children contract measles those with poor nutrition do suffer badly and death can occur. The nutrient that has been shown to be the most important is vitamin A . One study noted that the children were often deficient in Vitamin A even though they did not show signs of deficiency.In this case only a blood test showed they were low in Vitamin A.
So should you give your children Vitamin A supplement? No that should only be done under supervision as vitamin A can build up to toxic levels in the blood and children are especially vulnerable. But you can safely give them supplements of the Food State Beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Also boost their diet with vitamin A rich foods such as red and green vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and leafy greens. Liver contains vitamin A but this has to be organic liver. Vitamin A is also high in fish liver oil. Also helpful are the antioxidants which help boost immunity especially Vitamin C, found in all fruits and vegetables, and Zinc which is high inSunflower & pumpkin seeds, Seafood , Mushrooms, Soybeans, and Brewers yeast.
Iron too is important to boost your childrens immunity this is found in most vegetables, eggs and meat especially organic liver.
Pulsatilla is a herb that has been used to help prevent measles this can be given homoeopathically. Many other herbs are used to treat measles, depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Chamomile can be used with strict bed rest if symptoms are mild. If severe symptoms arise then do seek professional help.
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1. Hussey, G.D. and M. Klein, A randomized, controlled trial of vitamin A in children with severe measles. N Engl J Med, 1990. 323(3): p. 160-164.
2. Asaria, P. and E. MacMahon, Measles in the United Kingdom: can we eradicate it by 2010? BMJ, 2006. 333(7574): p. 890-895.
3. Rosales, F.J., Vitamin A Supplementation of Vitamin A Deficient Measles Patients Lowers the Risk of Measles-Related Pneumonia in Zambian Children. J. Nutr., 2002. 132(12): p. 3700-3703.