Saturday, July 30, 2022

Benefits of Vitamin D for Babies

One of the things that always shows up badly on my blood work is my vitamin D levels. It feels like whatever I do I can't get it high enough. Fortunately, my last blood test showed that I went from severely deficient to low average. Here is why vitamin D is important, especially for developing babies.

The knowledge of vitamin D has been known to the medical world since the beginning of the last century, when German scientist Adolf Windaus described its structure in 1922, receiving a Nobel Prize for this work. However, its prescription for non-skeletal manifestations was very limited for a long time.

For a long time, vitamin D deficiency was associated by pediatricians only with classic childhood rickets and by internists with osteoporosis. Now, on the contrary, it is part of the therapy for many pathologies.

It depends on the diet more than the sun

First, a lack of vitamin D is generally caused by a diet that does not provide a sufficient intake of vitamin D in foods (egg yolk, cod liver oil, liver of fish and birds, caviar, milk, butter). Although there has always been an opinion that during the summer months, our body accumulates enough vitamin D that is enough for the whole year, unfortunately, the geochemical properties of the atmosphere have changed, in particular, the ultraviolet wavelength has become much harsher and shorter. Therefore, the synthesis in the skin, which should occur, and could provide sufficient vitamin saturation from exposure to sunlight for 15 minutes daily, no longer occurs before people get burned. Not to mention the fact that the time from 12 to 3 pm, when there is the most sun and therefore the most ability for one's body to make vitamin D through the sun, is when people usually try to shelter from the sun, and we definitely don't leave our children outside in the open sun like people used to do. 

In most countries, the sun is only active for 3 months, and the acute shortage of ultraviolet rays lasts from October to April. It is also almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from another source - food - because you have to
  • Drink 100 glasses of milk,
  • Eat 500 grams of fatty fish daily,
  • Eat a few dozen eggs.
What is the daily vitamin D requirement?

The average preventive daily dose of vitamin D for breastfed or mixed-fed infants is 400 IU daily. However, there may be fluctuations in the daily dose of vitamin D. Children who are breastfed by mothers who are deficient in vitamin D may require 600 to 6,000 IU of D daily. If the baby is formula fed, a prophylactic dose of vitamin D is provided when the daily volume of formula reaches 1 liter. Or you can use baby formula that contains an additional dose of the miracle vitamin.

Prophylactic use of vitamin D for premature infants is important with a daily dose of 400-800 IU / day (10-20 mcg/day) from 2 weeks of life with satisfactory absorption of food. After indicators are normalized they should follow the recommendations established for premature infants. Premature infants should be given vitamin D from the first month of life, regardless of the type of feeding, at a dose of 400 IU/day daily. 

It should be remembered that the prevention of rickets with vitamin D will only be successful if the child's need for calcium, without which there is no full development of the child's skeletal system, is provided. The daily intake of calcium from birth to age 6 months is 200 mg/day, followed by 260 mg/day from 6 to 12 months of age, regardless of the type of feeding. 

Children from 1 to 3 years should receive 700 mg of calcium every day with an increase to 1000 mg/day from 4 to 8 years, thereafter from 9 to 18 years the daily requirement for calcium is 1300 mg.

Foods containing vitamin D:
  • Cod liver
  • Fish oil
  • Egg yolk
  • Halibut liver
  • Atlantic herring
  • Salmon
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Acidophilus powder
  • Whole milk powder
  • Carp
  • Eel
  • Chum salmon
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Pink salmon
Based on the list of foods that contain vitamin D, the vast majority of foods a young child eats do not contain this essential vitamin, which is why infants need to be assigned preventive doses of vitamin D, which are available on the pharmaceutical market, so you can prevent diseases such as - rickets and prevent pathologies of other organs and systems.

So, always remember that a balanced and vitaminized diet for babies - is the key to their stable growth, normal development, and inherent intelligence.