Vitamin D Deficiency Rates Vary By Population
Its difficult to pin down rates of vitamin D deficiency. One 2004 study of just over 300 children found nearly a quarter of them were deficient based on a threshold of levels below 15 ng/mL, and another 42% had insufficient levels, defined as 20 ng/mL or lower, but all were asymptomatic. Another 2008 study using different cut-offs found that 12% of healthy 8- to 24-month-olds were deficient, defined as levels below 20 ng/mL. Forty percent of the children had suboptimal levels below 30 ng/mL. Overall, a third of the children showed demineralization on their x-rays. While the season of the year and race/ethnicity did not emerge as predictors of vitamin D insufficiency, breastfeeding without supplementation and lack of milk consumption did.
Because the vitamin D content in human breast milk is low, breastfed infants typically develop low vitamin D levels unless they receive supplementation or plenty of exposure to sunlight. A maternal dose of 6,400 IU of vitamin D is needed for breastfed infants to reach normal vitamin D levels, Dr. Gordon said. Babies born to mothers with vitamin D deficiency have the highest risk of becoming deficient themselves, although formula-fed babies usually receive plenty through the vitamin D fortification in infant formula.
Kids May Need 10 Times More Vitamin D
Study: Kids Need 2,000 IU of Vitamin D, Not 200 IU Now Recommended
“Our research reveals that vitamin D, at doses equivalent to 2,000 IU a day, is not only safe for adolescents, but it is actually necessary for achieving desirable vitamin D levels,” study leader Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, MD, of the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon, says in a news release.
Kids are advised to get a daily vitamin D dose of 200 IU. That suggestion came from an Institute of Medicine panel that based its recommendation on the amount of vitamin D needed to prevent rickets in infants.
However, more and more vitamin D experts have begun to suggest that children and adults need much more vitamin D than previously recognized.
New evidence strongly supports this opinion. El-Hajj Fuleihan and colleagues enrolled 340 schoolchildren in a one-year study. These 10- to 17-year-old kids attended schools in Beirut, Lebanon.
A third of the kids received an inactive, sham treatment. Another third got the recommended 200 IU/day dose of vitamin D3 . And, after an earlier safety study showed it would not be toxic, the remaining third of the kids got 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 — 10 times the recommended dose for adequate daily intake.
Before starting your child on supplements or vitamins, always consult with your pediatrician.
Vitamin D Requirements In Adults
Health Canada has suggested that the adequate intake of vitamin D for adults 19 to 50 years of age is 200 IU/day, those 51 to 70 years of age is 400 IU/day and those 71 years of age and older is 600 IU/day . Vieth suggests that such a low intake may be inadequate . A minimum of 800 IU/day to 1000 IU/day may be needed, with up to 2000 IU/day to 4000 IU/day in special circumstances .
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Vitamin D Supplementation For Children
If your child is vitamin D deficient, your doctor may prescribe them a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is present in multivitamins and standalone vitamin D dietary supplements available as tablets, capsules, syrups, powder, and gummies. These supplements contain vitamin D2 or D3, both of which have almost equivalent effects in raising the active vitamin D level in the body .
However, most pieces of clinical evidence show that vitamin D3 raises active vitamin D levels in serum to a greater extent. Additionally, it maintains high levels for an extended period compared to vitamin D2.
The types and quantities of supplements required for your child should be decided by a pediatrician. So, do not administer vitamin D supplements to your child without consultation. Doing so can increase your childs risk of vitamin D overdose, increasing their risk of developing kidney stones.
It is recommended that parents keep track of the childs total vitamin D intake from food and supplementation and keep it within the tolerable upper limits .
When To Give Your Child A Vitamin D Supplement
Children aged 1 to 4 need a vitamin D supplement every day for a few months each year. Give this from Halloween to St Patricks Day .
Babies under 12 months need vitamin D supplements every day if they are:
- have less than 300mls or 10 fluid oz of infant formula a day
You should stop giving your child formula milk when they reach 1 year of age.
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The Sun Contradiction And Essentials
Here, the parents know that it is essential to support your kids skin from dangerous sunburns, sun damages, and future skin cancers by using sunscreen. But the sunscreen can reduce vitamin D production by 95% to 99% .
During the seasons like fall and winter, the suns rays are not much exposed and angle directly to the ground. So, it produces less vitamin D and acts less on the skin. Well, it is good to give your child vitamin care. Plus most over-the-counter kids vitamin contains up to 600 IU of vitamin D which is also recommended daily allowance. This is for the kids of 1 year old and older.
Vitamin D3 Dosage In Adults 50 And Older
If you are 50 and over, you need more vitamin D3. Part of the reason for this is that your parathyroid glands are usually less efficient at converting the storage form of vitamin D, D3, into the active form of vitamin D, D2.
Keeping enough vitamin D2 in your bloodstream requires having more D3 stored in skin and fat. Taking a supplement of up to 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day acts as “insurance” that your tissues will always have the activated vitamin D they need.
How much vitamin D3 should I take if I am deficient? Children and adults at any age can become deficient in vitamin D3, even if they get lots of sun. One study found that 1 in 3 professional surfers on the north shore of Maui, where the sun shines nearly every day, had a vitamin D3 deficiency.
Since toxicity symptoms are unknown below daily dosages of 40,000 IU per day, the US Institute of Medicine recommends taking up to 4,000 IU per day as an unquestionably safe dosage. The idea behind setting the limit low is making sure that even if a vitamin manufacturer accidentally made the product 10 times too strong or even if the consumer accidentally took more than one dose per day, there still would be no injurious side effects. Actually, you can take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day will no ill effects.
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Memo To Pediatricians: Screen All Kids For Vitamin D Deficiency Test Those At High Risk
As study after study shows the fundamental role vitamin D plays in disease and health, vitamin D deficiency which often develops insidiously in childhood should be on every parents and pediatricians radar, say physicians from the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center.
Vitamin D deficiency can be a problem year round, but because sun exposure is critical for vitamin D synthesis and production, the winter months further exacerbate what is a perennial problem, says Johns Hopkins Childrens Center endocrinologist Dominique Long, M.D.
Levels at or below 20 nanograms per milliliter are considered suboptimal. Levels below 15 constitute deficiency and should be treated with supplements.
Hopkins experts say pediatricians should screen all children for risk factors and order blood tests for those found to be at high risk. Children at risk for vitamin D deficiency include:
- those with vitamin D-poor diets
- breast-fed infants because breast milk contains minimal vitamin D
- obese children
- those with darker skin because darker skin synthesizes less vitamin D from sun exposure than lighter skin
- those with certain medical conditions, including cystic fibrosis, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, which can interfere with food absorption
The good news is that once detected, vitamin D deficiency can be usually corrected easily with high-dose supplementation, Long says.
Recommended Dose Vitamin D
Moreover, the infants who are obese, dark skin, the one rarely of outside, or the one wear clothing that covers heir skin. They need a supplement diet to ensure they have level vitamin D in the body. Well, some of the medications interfere with vitamin to make sure that your kids pediatrician knows all the medicines they intake usually.
Hence, in this way, you will come to serve your kid a good amount of Vitamin D. Because it will also be very beneficial in supporting good nervous system health, strengthens defenses against infections, and can improve lung and heart health in every aged person. As per the study shows that good vitamin D supplements can prevent the risk of diabetes, strengthening bones and preventing rickets as well.
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Why Kids Need Vitamin D Supplements In The Winter
Eric Weber, M.D. contributes to topics such as Pediatrics.
Lakshmi Nandiwada, M.D. contributes to topics such as Exercise / Fitness, Pediatrics.
Mitchell Stroh, D.O. contributes to topics such as Orthopedic Surgery.
Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining bone health, as its needed to help the body absorb calcium. While calcium is found frequently in foods we eat, like milk, cheese or yogurt, vitamin D itself is found sparingly in foods we consume. Fatty fish, like salmon or sardines, along with fortified milk and cereal are some of the options available.
Outside of these limited dietary options, our main source of vitamin D is the sun. People should aim for 10 to 30 minutes of direct, midday sunlight per day, several times per week, says Eric Weber, M.D., a board certified pediatrician and director of the Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group Pediatric Academic Practice.
During winter months, it may be difficult for kids to get the proper exposure necessary to maintain healthy levels. Due to cold temperatures and the need to bundle up, staying outside for that long could be dangerous to the health of a child.
What If I Accidentally Gave More Vitamin D To My Baby
Adverse effects are highly unlikely on ingesting some extra drops of vitamin D supplement. However, toxicity does exist and can cause problems like an excess accumulation of calcium in the body .
It is still improbable for your baby to have more than 1000IU of vitamin D per day for several days to develop toxicity . An accidental drop or two from the vitamin D supplement is also not likely to do any harm unless you do it every day for several days.
Vitamin D from food and sunlight will not cause such toxicity.
Therefore, you can prevent vitamin D toxicity by checking the quantity of vitamin D in the supplement and giving the exact number of drops as prescribed by the doctor.
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Vitamin D: Benefits Dosage Information And Warnings
Vitamin D3 provides a range of health benefits, from bone health to immunity support. Learn more about its benefits, dosage information, and warnings.
7 minute read
Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin that your skin produces in response to sunlight exposure. It can also be consumed through a variety of animal and plant-sourced foods. Vitamin D3 is known to support bone health, but it also supports the immune system to protect you from environmental and seasonal threats.
With increased concerns over sun exposure, there has been an increase in vitamin D3 deficiency, which can affect immune function. Taking supplements of vitamin D3 helps you maintain healthy levels to support immune function, bone health, and overall health.
Tips On Getting Vitamin D For Children And Adults
For children who are eating solid foods as well as adults, eating vitamin D-rich foods such as the ones we mentioned above will help to raise vitamin D levels, however, this is not always enough.
Safe sun exposure can also significantly raise vitamin D levels but it’s important to take precautions depending on where you live. Without regular exposure to sunlight, it’s very difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from your diet alone.
Supplementation is an effective way to boost low levels and maintain adequate vitamin D status, especially during the winter months. Healthy levels of vitamin D are essential for children and adult health and should therefore be monitored regularly. If you are not sure if you need to supplement or not it would be most prudent to check in with your doctor for an assessment of vitamin D levels.
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Where Does Vitamin D Come From
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun, though. Most kids and adults spend lots of time indoors at school and work. When outdoors, it’s important to protect skin to prevent skin cancer and skin damage from too much sun exposure.
Very few foods have vitamin D naturally. The foods with the most are fatty fish , liver, eggs and fish oils. Kids don’t eat these foods a lot. That’s why food companies add vitamin D to milk, yogurt, baby formula, juice, cereal, and other foods.
Adding vitamin D to foods is called “fortifying.” It’s helpful, but it still may not be enough.
To get enough vitamin D, children often need to take a multivitamin with vitamin D or a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is sometimes labeled as vitamin D3.
You can buy vitamin D pills, gummies, chewables, liquids, and sprays in stores without a prescription. Ask your child’s health care provider for advice on choosing the right one.
Vitamin K2 At All Life Stages: 2
Jim Beakey | Dec 01, 2017
From the early years to the autumn years, vitamin K2 MK-7 is vital for all people. The bone and heart health benefits of vitamin K2 create innovative commercial opportunities for product upgrade and extensionfor virtually all consumer and market categories. This blog series explores some of these opportunities.
K2 activates osteocalcin proteins which incorporate calcium into bone, and activates matrix Gla proteins which bind excess calcium to prevent deposit in, and hardening of, the arteries and circulatory system. K2 is essential for bone growth, and bones grow the most in childhood and teen yearsespecially during the adolescent growth-spurt when teens gain full height and fill out in the chest, shoulders and hips.
Its specifically important children get K2 MK-7 in addition to the more widely available vitamin K1 . MK-7 gives the body a stronger vitamin K boost compared to K1 and specifically targets osteocalcin activation which is required for bone-building. K1 is commercially less expensive than K2, hence its widespread use in multivitamins, but K1 primarily facilitates blood coagulation and does not target osteocalcin activation. K2 is required for childhood bone development, is safe, and is non-toxic even at extremely high doses. K2 may also play a role in a healthy smile by inhibiting tooth decay.
Adolescents and Teens
4. Theuwissen, E., et al., Vitamin K status in healthy volunteers. Food Funct, 2014. 5: p. 229-34.
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Can You Get Enough Vitamin D In The Sun Only
Some people will be able to get enough vitamin D from the sun. However, it depends on where they live in the world, the time of year, the time of day, and the color of their skin.
People living near the equator get a lot of suns. In the Northern Hemisphere, a person may not be getting enough vitamin D from the sun during the winter.
The sun usually rises between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm In summer, one does not need to stay in the sun too long to make enough vitamin D.
The amount of melanin a persons skin contains affects how much vitamin D they can produce. A small amount of melanin leads to light, unprotected skin, and harmful ultraviolet radiation.
People with a lot of melanin on their skin are better protected from the sun, but it takes longer to make vitamin D. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that many Mexican, American, and non-Spanish blacks are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
These various factors make it difficult to recommend how much sun a person should get to make the vitamin D his body needs.
Vitamin D Council provides some examples:
- At noon during the summer in Miami, a person with a medium skin tone will need to expose one-quarter of his or her skin to sunlight for six minutes.
- At noon during the summer in Boston, someone with a dark skin tone will have to expose one-quarter of their skin to sunlight for two hours.
Additional Concerns With Inadequate Vitamin D
Aside from bone mineral density and levels of 25D and parathyroid hormone, vitamin D insufficiency may be suspected based on several other biomarkers, including fractures or falls, intestinal calcium absorption, dental health, insulin sensitivity, beta-cell or immune functioning, respiratory disease such as wheezing or tuberculosis, and possibly hypertension.
Researchers have developed new interest in exploring whether factors during childhood and adolescence critical years for bone acquisition such as vitamin D levels might influence the risk for osteoporosis later in life, Dr. Gordon said.
Both males and females reach their peak bone mass and skeletal strength in their early to mid-20s and maintain these through about their mid-40s. While individuals have no control over intrinsic factors that help determine their bone mass, such as sex, family history, and ethnicity, other extrinsic factors are also bone mass determinants, including diet, body mass, a particular individuals hormonal mix, illnesses and their treatments, physical activity level, and lifestyle choices.
Therefore, health providers should encourage patients to regularly exercise, maintain a healthy weight, eat healthfully, and take daily supplements, Dr. Gordon said. She only recommended testing 25D levels in those at risk for deficiency and/or low bone mass.
Dr. Gordon reported no relevant financial disclosures.
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