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Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants

August 2, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

NaturalNews August 2, 2010

Two studies published in the journal Pediatrics highlight that although vitamin D deficiency is widespread among infants in the United States, most pediatricians remain unaware of the problem.

The first study, conducted by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that only 5 to 13 percent of breast-fed infants were receiving at least 400 IU of vitamin D per day, the amount currently recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Human breast milk is actually relatively low in vitamin D, probably because during our evolutionary history most babies got plenty of exposure to sunlight.

Although formula-fed infants were not included in the study, researchers noted that an infant would need to drink 32 ounces of fortified formula per day to get 400 IU of vitamin D, an amount that is probably unrealistic for young children.

The body produces vitamin D when exposed to UV-B radiation from sunlight. The nutrient is essential for the development and maintenance of bones and the immune system, and deficiency can increase the risk of soft or brittle bones, infection, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders. Yet the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants get no direct sunlight at all for the first six months of life, and that they wear protective clothing and sunscreen beyond that age – effectively ruling out the healthiest, most reliable source of this essential nutrient.

Making matters worse, according to the CDC study, only 1 to 13 percent of children under the age of one take a vitamin D supplement.

A second study in the same issue found a lower (but still high) rate of vitamin D deficiency, with 58 percent of newborns and 36 percent of mothers testing deficient. A full 30 percent of mothers who took prenatal vitamins were still deficient in vitamin D.

Although increased sun exposure improved mothers’ vitamin D levels, it did not raise those of their infants. This further suggests that breast milk is a poor source of vitamin D and that infants need to be exposed to sunlight directly in order to synthesize the vitamin for themselves.

Comments

One Response to “Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants”
  1. Dr. Psencik says:

    To read more about how to boost your child immune system, check out these great research articles!

    “Spinal Manipulative Therapy Reduces Inflammatory Cytokines but Not Substance P Production in Normal Subjects” J Manipulative Therapy 2006 (Jan); 29(1):14-21
    A single upper thoracic spine adjustment was shown to decrease inflammatory factors and increased immune system factors.

    “The Effects of Specific Upper Cervical Adjustments on the CD4 Counts of HIV Positive Patients.” Chiro Res J 1994; 3(1): 32-39.

    J Allen “The Effects of Chiropractic on the Immune System: A Review of the Literature.” Chiro J Aust 1993; 23(4) Dec: 132-135.

    “Enhanced Neutrophil Respiratory Burst as a Biological Marker for Manipulation Forces: Duration of the Effect and Association with Substance P and Tumor Necrosis Factor.” J Manipulative Physiol Therapy 1992; 15(2) Feb: 83-89.
    Substance P is a neuropeptide associated with decreased pain. TNF makes sure natural cell death occurs at the proper time to help prevent cancer.

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