Protein and micronutrient supplementation in complementing pubertal growth

Indian J Pediatr. 2012 Jan;79 Suppl 1:S84-91. doi: 10.1007/s12098-011-0430-0. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


For several reasons, adolescence is considered as a nutritionally critical period of life. The dramatic increase in physical growth and development puts greater pressure on the need for nutrients, as it is during this period when adolescents experience a weight gain equivalent to 65% of their weight at the beginning of the period or 40% of their final weight, and a height gain equivalent to 15% of their adult height. The requirement of some of the nutrients is as high as, or higher in adolescents than in any other age groups. Moreover, adolescence is a time where the life-style and food habits are influenced by socio-cultural factors resulting in an imbalance in nutrient intake and nutrient inadequacy can result in delayed sexual maturation and can arrest or slow linear growth. With the increasing prevalence of hidden malnutrition among Indian children, adolescence can be the second opportunity to catch up growth and cover the deficits suffered during childhood and to meet the demands of physical and cognitive growth and development, provide adequate stores of energy for illnesses and pregnancy, and prevent adult onset of nutrition-related diseases. Adolescents should be recognized as a priority target group as an integral part of health promotion and optimal nutrition through balanced diet and nutrient supplementation should be promoted in conjunction with healthy eating habits and physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Child
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Growth / drug effects
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Micronutrients / therapeutic use*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Puberty / physiology*


  • Micronutrients