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Dietary Supplementation Nutrition

Vitamin D recommendations for children doubled

11 years, 9 months ago

2682  0
Posted on Oct 14, 2008, 6 a.m. By Rich Hurd

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has announced its decision to double the daily amount of vitamin D it recommends for all children, from its previous recommendation of 200 IU in 2003 to 400 IU per day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has announced its decision to double the daily amount of vitamin D it recommends for all children, from its previous recommendation of 200 IU in 2003 to 400 IU per day.

In a news release, the AAP writes: “The change in recommendation comes after reviewing new clinical trials on vitamin D and the historical precedence of safely giving 400 IU per day to the pediatric population. Clinical data show that 400 units of vitamin D a day will not only prevent rickets, but treat it.”

Exclusively breastfed infants are at greatest risk of vitamin D deficiency as breast milk is a poor source of the vitamin. It is unlikely that food alone will provide sufficient vitamin D, and the AAP says that “it is difficult to determine a safe amount of sunlight exposure to synthesize vitamin D in a given individual.” Therefore supplementation will be necessary if children are going to receive the new recommended daily amount.  

It has long been known that vitamin D is vital for strong and healthy bones, and an adequate supply of vitamin D throughout childhood is thought to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life. However, over the last few years an ever-growing body of research suggests that the vitamin also plays an important role in protecting against a wide range of diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.

"We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits," said Frank Greer, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and co-author of the report: Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants, Children, and Adolescents.

Wagner CL, Greer FR, and the Section on Breastfeeding and Committee on Nutrition. Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants, Children, and Adolescents. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.152/peds.2008-1862

News release: New guidelines double the amount of recommended vitamin D. American Academy of Pediatrics website. October 13th 2008.

 

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