Vitamin D deficiency in kids is getting more attention

A recent cross country study sample suggests that MOST children in the U.S. have suboptimal vitamin D levels. Healthy blood levels of vitamin D are at least 30 ng/mL; but 2 out of 3 kids have levels below this, and about 1 in 5 kids ages 1 to 11 are deficient with a vitamin D level below 20 ng/mL.

The problem is especially severe in Black and Hispanic children. HALF are deficient, with levels below 20 ng/mL. This is likely because their darker skin blocks out more of the sun’s UV-B rays needed for making natural vitamin D.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU/day of vitamin D, starting days after birth all the way through adolescence.

A cup of cow’s milk or baby formula contains only about 100 IU of vitamin D. So only kids who drink a quart/day are getting enough. Therefore, my recommendation to the parents in my practice is to use a vitamin D supplement in all children.

Tri-Vi-Sol or Poly-Vi-Sol vitamin drops can be recommended for both breast-fed and bottle-fed infants if more vitamin D is needed. For older kids, a multivitamin with vitamin D 400 IU can be used.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database says, “Explain to parents not to be overly concerned about getting too much vitamin D. The blood levels and doses we need are higher than we used to think.”

Here are some of my other blogs on vitamin D:

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