Low Vitamin D and Vitamin D Deficiency
Low Vitamin D
Low vitamin D can be harmful as many studies show vitamin D plays a fundamental role in good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D supports many important functions in the body and protects against a host of health problems.* Research tells us that it is important to maintain healthy vitamin D levels throughout our life, from fetal development to old age.* Yet, there is data indicating that low vitamin D levels can occur very early in a child’s life, especially when pregnant women are deficient.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include:
- Brittle bones leading to increased bone fractures
- Skeletal deformities
- Stunted growth
- Bone pain and tenderness
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- Dental deformities
Untreated vitamin D deficiency can go unnoticed but over time can affect other organs and functions, especially bone growth and strength, metabolism and immunity. It may even be linked to heart health.* Experts tell us that much of our life-long health is pre-programmed in childhood, and that many adult health problems can be traced to nutrition during childhood. A child’s vitamin D level appears to be a prime example.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body to properly use calcium from the diet. A severe vitamin D deficiency can result in nutritional rickets, a condition in which the bone tissue doesn't properly mineralize.
Breastfeeding and Vitamin D
Breastfeeding is universally accepted as the recommended method for nourishing an infant during the first year; however, published reports have shown that breast milk alone may not provide enough vitamin D for infants. In addition, research found that the amount of sunshine exposure necessary to maintain sufficient vitamin D in children is not easy to determine. That’s because there are many factors that affect our ability to make vitamin D in the skin, such as the degree of skin pigmentation, change of seasons, sunscreen use, clothing cover-up and latitude.
Therefore, a supplement of 400 IU per day of vitamin D is now recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for all infants beginning in the first few days of life and continuing through the first year. Infants who receive a combination of human milk and formula should also get a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU/day to ensure an adequate intake, as well as formula-fed babies consuming less than 32 oz. (1 quart) of formula daily.
UpSpring’s UpSpring Baby D3 drops deliver the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended dose of D3 in one small tasteless and odorless drop. UpSpring Baby D3 Drops can be given to baby orally or placed on the nipple for baby to take while breastfeeding.
Several large-scale studies have found that low vitamin D is widespread. It is estimated that 60 percent of children may have below optimal levels of vitamin D (at or below 20 ng/ml) and that one in ten U.S. children are deficient (levels below 15 ng/ml) and should be treated with supplements. If you are interested in your child’s vitamin D levels, your pediatrician can order a simple blood test to test the level of vitamin D3 (25(OH)).
Foods High in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is oil soluble, so you need to eat fat to help absorb the vitamin. Foods high in vitamin D include fish oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Vitamin D is also fortified in some foods including dairy products, soy milk, orange juice, and ready to eat cereals.
When you can’t get enough vitamin D from food and sun exposure
For infants the AAP recommends 400 IU of vitamin D daily but what about older kids and moms?
To learn more about how to treat vitamin D deficiency visit the National Institute of Health's Vitamin D page. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835491/
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.