Monday, October 13, 2008

Double your Vitamin D

From ABC: The American Academy of Pediatrics is doubling its recommended amount of vitamin D for infants, children, and adolescents. The move comes amid increasing concern that kids aren't getting enough vitamin D to keep their bones healthy, but doctors say boosting vitamin D could also help fight off serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

American children aren't getting enough vitamin D to ensure healthy bone strength, according to doctors at the American Academy of Pediatrics. As a result, the organization is DOUBLING the D for infants and children of all ages - from 200 international units to 400 international units per day.

Experts are concerned by reports of American children suffering from Rickets - a bone softening disease that is easily prevented with adequate vitamin D. But getting enough vitamin D is difficult to do through diet alone, as the nutrient is not found naturally in very many foods.

Many doctors now advise spending 10 to 15 minutes per day in the sun to trigger vitamin D production in the skin. Drinking fortified milk also helps, but the new recommendations say infants and children will likely need supplements to get the full amount.

Increasing levels of vitamin D may have health benefits beyond strengthening bones. Research has also linked low vitamin D levels in adults to greater risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

I go back and forth on multi-vitamins for my kids. If I am going to start spending the money on vitamin D, maybe I should get a multi-vitamin. Then again, if they don't need the other vitamins, maybe not. But will those little Flintstones vitamins harm them? I doubt it. So right now I am thinking about picking up some multi-vitamins that contain an adequate amount of vitamin D. Do you give your kids vitamin D supplements?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Maria said...

I don't give my son vitamins at this time. When I do get around to it, I will give him vitamins made of plants and foods rather than chemically derived. I know I have sent you information on vitamins several times, so while you might like Flinstones, you might want to double check what is really going in to the vitamin. When it comes to D, though, I prefer to push the kid outdoors for a little longer, even during the winter. Yes, it sucks for me to play out in the cold, but it is better for both of us in the long run! said...

Yes, I remember the information you sent me about some of the vitamins not even containing the ingredients necessary. That really stinks. Are there any brands that you recommend if you were to give your son vitamins? I do go back and forth on this topic a lot. There is a doctor who highly recommends giving kids certain vitamins. I will ask him what brand too and maybe we can come up with something that will benefit our kids without unnecessary chemicals! Thanks!

Maria said...

I'm still researching for my son's age, but do know that it will be a whole food liquid, rather than a pill he could choke on. Chewable tablets tend to be loaded with excess stuff (sugar, etc). This is why I say "when I get around to it..." None of the supplements I have found for his age-group so far is acceptable to me, and he continues to eat a healthy well-balanced diet, so I am not in a rush to find a "cure" to a problem that does not yet exist.

Oh, and if my son were older, I'd consider giving him EveryKid Whole Food vitamins. said...

Great info! Thanks! I think I will give them a try for my older one who is a picky eater. The younger one seems to do just fine. Although, I have no idea if he gets enough vitamin D in the winter. We do go outside, but I have never tracked how often.

Jenny said...

I will probably start giving my kids the flinstone vitamins. They contain the recommend level of Vitamin D too! I grew up on Flinstones Vitamins and turned out ok! :)

dayoub said...

I don't think the AAP made a distinction which form of Vit D to take, but there is a big difference. D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol)

D3 is 4 times as biologically active as D2. This is from Houghton, et al 2006, Am Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;84(4):694-7. Links
The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement.

"Supplemental vitamin D is available in 2 distinct forms: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Pharmacopoeias have officially regarded these 2 forms as equivalent and interchangeable, yet this presumption of equivalence is based on studies of rickets prevention in infants conducted 70 y ago. The emergence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D as a measure of vitamin D status provides an objective, quantitative measure of the biological response to vitamin D administration. As a result, vitamin D3 has proven to be the more potent form of vitamin D in all primate species, including humans. Despite an emerging body of evidence suggesting several plausible explanations for the greater bioefficacy of vitamin D3, the form of vitamin D used in major preparations of prescriptions in North America is vitamin D2. The case that vitamin D2 should no longer be considered equivalent to vitamin D3 is based on differences in their efficacy at raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, diminished binding of vitamin D2 metabolites to vitamin D binding protein in plasma, and a nonphysiologic metabolism and shorter shelf life of vitamin D2. Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, should not be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification."

So we gave our kids 1,000 IU D3 during the first year and 2,000 IU after the age of 1.

I endorse the website:
for more information.

There have been some impressive data of the benefits of D3 as inti-infectious agents. Cannell (2008) demonstrated that patients taking D3 almost never got flu, compared with about 25% who took a placebo.

I advise against the common multis because there is so much junk in them, like MSG, aluminum lake and even aspartame. I suggest seeking out something from a nutritionist, chiropractor or health store, preferred over a walgreens or a vitamin shop a the mall. said...

Thanks Dr. Ayoub. That explains a lot. At least I know now what I need to do. I am hoping we skip the flu this year!

Shannon said...

You left out the part of the AP story that says the people who developed these new recommendations have ties to the infant formula and vitamin industries.

Just sayin! :) (wink)

Maria said...

I never rode in a car seat, but I turned out ok.

Even if you buy the vitamin at a chiropractor or nutritionist, it is best to double check what is in the vitamin. Some seemingly "healthy" vitamins have additional junk in them-- especially when in pill form. said...

Hah-Hopefully that's not entirely true. That would be disturbing Shannon!

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