Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vitamin D Deficiency is higher than most think

We have been hearing about vitamin D deficiency since research was released last year. Now, new research is showing the problem is greater than we thought. My baby is due in just a few weeks and now I am wondering if I should be giving him a liquid supplement. I doubt I will be taking him out much this winter. We keep getting reports about the swine flu spreading like crazy this fall.. then there's RSV... and the list goes on. I am not saying I will make him a hermit or anything, but I doubt he will be getting 15 minutes of direct sun a day. So I think this is something I should consider.What are your thoughts?

FROM NBC: We're all used to hearing about the dangers of getting too much sun: tonight, a warning about how our kids aren't getting enough. The proof is in what researchers are calling "shockingly low" levels of Vitamin D, the one we get from sunshine, found in kids' bloodstreams. Here's NBC Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Naomi Fowler already knows that sunshine is important for her three-month-old son Griffin. "My pediatrician expressed concern that children and adults don't get enough Vitamin D, so she suggested a multi-vitamin to supplement the D." In a study in the Journal Pediatrics, researchers report seven out of ten American children have very low levels of Vitamin D, levels too low putting them at potential risk of heart disease, weak bones..even rickets. DR. MELAMED "We were rather shocked when we saw the numbers ." Roughly 9 percent of those age 1 to 21 -- about 7.6 million children, adolescents and young adults -- have Vitamin D levels that could be "deficient" Another 50.8 million -- have higher levels of vitamin D, but still low enough to be considered "insufficient" And one group at particular risk -- African American girls. Their dark skin filters the sun automatically lowering Vitamin D levels. In the 1930's Vitamin D was added to milk and pediatricians believed weak bones and rickets would become problems of the past. But children substituting sports drinks for milk and spending hours in front of one screen or another is taking a toll. Dr. Melamed, "4 hours a day of using computers or watching TV or playing video games they were 60% higher Vitamin D deficiency." Getting Vitamin D is free. It means going out in the sun for just 10 - 15 minutes a day. That amount of time without sunscreen is not enough to hurt you and could ward off serious illnesses--illness like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Disease pediatricians are seeing early and that can follow people well into adulthood.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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