Statistics Indicate Most Infants are Low in Vitamin D
While there is always a new study being done on the nutrition of infants and children, this most recent study shows a vital reason to listen up. The most recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that infants are not getting enough Vitamin D, as evidenced by high numbers of weak bone conditions in children, such as rickets. Below, we examine all that should be known about Vitamin D and your infant.
"Vitamin D receptors are present in almost every type of cell in the body," said lead researcher Cria G. Perrine, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service in the Office of Workforce and Career Development, and Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Every cell needs Vitamin D for strong bone health and overall bodily function; and infants -- those who require strong bones and growth the most – have been shown to be severely deficient in the amounts necessary. The result? More incidences of softening of the bones, which leads to such things as fractures and bone deformities. Moreover, lack of sufficient Vitamin D has been shown almost conclusively to an increased risk of developing autoimmune deficiency conditions, such as cancers.
Vitamin D can be found in certain foods, and also via the sun. Infants get most of their vitamins from either breastfeeding or formula. It was long thought that those mothers who breastfed should supplement with a Vitamin D supplement and those who chose formula did not need to as the infant was getting it from the formula. However, more research showed that infants were not getting enough Vitamin D even with formula, and so in 2008 the American Academy of Pediatrics raised the recommended daily requirement of vitamin D for infants from 200 International Units (IU) a day to 400 IU. While this increase had hoped to cure the frequency of problems, research today continues to show that infants still were not getting these new levels.
The researchers found that “among infants who were exclusively breast-fed, only 5 percent to 13 percent, depending on age, were getting enough vitamin D. For infants who were breast-fed but also got formula, 28 percent to 35 percent were getting 200 IUs of vitamin D a day, but only 9 percent to 14 percent were getting 400 IUs a day. For infants fed exclusively with formula, 81 percent to 98 percent were getting 200 IUs a day, but only 20 percent to 37 percent were getting the recommended 400 IUs.”
While many parents have long been told certain things about the need for Vitamin D, it is more and more being realized by the medical and scientific communities that giving enough of it to your child is vital. “Research is suggesting that low vitamin D levels are linked to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, as well as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, mood dysregulation, muscle problems, certain cancers and more."
This said, supplementation should be utilized for proper vitamin D levels in an infant’s diet. It is now suggested that a minimum of 400 IU per day for infants and 800-1000 IU for both adults and children should be administered year round.