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Vitamin D And Kids
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Vitamin D And Kids

Vitamin D has been known as the sunshine vitamin, because it is manufactured in our skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. The UV rays from the sun helps skin to transform 7-dehydrocholesterol into Vitamin D-3. This is great for those that like to have fun in the sun, but what about the rest of us, especially for the very young, such as infants and toddlers. Let's take a closer look at the relationship between Vitamin D and kids and what can be done to ensure they get enough of this essential nutrient.

What does the Research Say?

Recent studies in Canada and in the United States have shed some light on vitamin D deficiency in infants and toddlers. In fact, a Canadian research team found that only eleven percent of the almost 2,000 children in the study actually got enough vitamin D in their diet.

Combine this dietary shortcoming with the amount of time that children spend indoors watching tv and being on the computer and these kids run the risk of being vitamin D deficient. Not to mention the overly cautious mom that insists that kids have their sunscreen on to protect them from the harmful rays of the sun.

This deficiency can lead to health concerns such as rickets, allergies and more serious bone disorders like osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis (brittle bones) later in life. Vitamin D also is a key player in our immune and cardiovascular systems.

What Can Parents Do?

These factors are why so many parents are supplementing their children's diets with Vitamin D. Some use liquid while other parents use chewable multi-vitamins, but there is one more factor to keep in mind. Vitamin D is fat soluble and that means there needs to be a sufficient amount of fats in the diets of our infants and children.

Infants have a diet that is very different from any other stage of human development. They have no teeth and the only thing on the menu is milk which either comes from Mom herself or from a bottle filled with baby formula. The need to supplement with an external vitamin D source is paramount for the Mother who breastfeeds. On the other hand, as long as a bottle fed baby receives a quart of formula per day there is no need to supplement with additional vitamins.

The question parents need to answer is how to ensure that their children get the proper amounts of Vitamin D in their diets.


Street Talk

This is a good reminder, you're so right - kids today get way less outdoor time than when I was a kid. When taking this as a supplement, can one take too much vitamin D? Good article, again.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks so much, Lisa. And yes a person can overdose when it comes to Vitamin D. It can cause bone spurs and other problems. The biggest risk is when you use a concentrated liquid Vitamin D. The safest way I always say is to go all natural and then there is never a worry when it comes to getting too much of anything. A teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil daily would do the trick. And there are also royal butters out there that have a mix of essential vitamins in them. They also have these in various flavors as well. Hope this helps, Lisa.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

thanks for letting me know. You really know your stuff! I remember cod liver oil when I was a kid......

  
  about 9 years ago

Well I have a background in Animal Science and thought I was a nutrition major with how many nutrition courses I had to take and since humans are animals, the principles are very much the same. Of course there are differences unless you're talking about swine...lol Ok, Ok I am shuttin' up... Sure glad you have stopped in.

  
  about 9 years ago

Excellent article! I feel that supplementing with vitamins is almost a necessity with the majority of people, because of the lack of nutrients in the soil when plants are commercially grown. Not only that but how many of us really eat an optimum diet. Children especially don't always eat what their bodies need. :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

This is so true. I have a background in Animal Science and I know that commercial farming and ranching have stripped our once fertile fields into something to be desired. The amount of synthetic fertilizers and chemical weed killers are causing more harm than the public realizes. And it's our kids that will suffer the consequences of the large industries and govt. Thanks for stoppin' in Judith.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Great article Pat the risks to your health from not getting enough Vitamin D are too many to mention and so its important to get your daily amount.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes, and it has been a neglected topic until recently as the news wire has picked up some interesting research studies involving infants and toddlers. Very important for a child's development and for us as adults too.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
melissa3  

We were told by my daughter's doc that she was very low in Vit. D. She was taking an rx for vit. D for a while but now I just give her otc D3 5,000iu's of it every day. Seems a bit much but just following the doctor's orders.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I am assuming that your vitamin D3 is a prescription. and the reason the dosage is very high is because it is not as effective in the body as the natural forms. You can find more about the natural sources of Vitamin D by clicking the text links above. In short I would see about using fermented cod liver oil as a natural source of vitamin D. Thanks for stopping by and hope this helps.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

Nice article on vitamin D. You particularly need to take more of it in the winter months. It'll protect you from head colds and flu.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

So true and the immune system will thank you by doing just that, keepin you happy and healthy.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

good article keep it up

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks, Tommy. Glad you stopped by.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Dom Wells  

vitamins are awesome. You get a lot of press recently saying most vitamin supplements do nothing, but I disagree. It is almost impossible to get proper vitamins from normal food these days. Apples, oranges etc, they all get picked too early while they are growing (gets longer shelf life in supermarkets) which means they are lacking in vits

Reply
  about 9 years ago

That is a great point that we have let big industries take over our foods. Large farms do not replace the minerals and nutrients that plants need to produce healthy veggies and fruit. And like you just mentioned they are picked before they ripen which strips them of many vital nutrients that we need. The vitamins that 99% of research studies use are the synthetic form. The synthetic form of vitamin, no matter which one you choose is normally made of the active outer shell or piece of the whole complex. In fact, there is no plant material associated with these 'fake' vitamins. In order for our bodies to digest, absorb and use vitamins they must be packaged as Mother Nature intended. The main reason that studies are coming out lately that say vitamins are not effective is because of this 'packaging' problem. The fruits and veggies we eat are the perfect vitamin delivery vehicle. The vitamins are held within the plant material that gets digested in the proper manner. Synthetic vitamins many times are 'digested' or should I say destroyed when they come in contact with acids of our stomach. Thanks for stopping by, Dom. Great to have you as part of the discussion

Reply
  about 9 years ago

It is sad that our culinary habits these days not only wreak havoc dramatically increasing degenerative disease, promoting obesity and reducing longevity, they rob our offspring of the necessary nutrients to grow and develop into healthy individuals! Great article except I am not clear on one point. I assume when you say that supplementation is mandatory for breastfeeding mothers, you are referring to mothers on a SAD (Standard American Diet), that is sure to be deficient many nutrients. My point being, as you commented below on Eskimos, that indigenous peoples on healthy ancestral diets never needed, nor had access to, supplements. Nor did they have alternatives to breastfeeding. Yet they consistently produced healthy babies that grew to be healthy adults.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes, sadly, we as Americans have very poor diets and that means that pregnant and nursing Mothers who eat organically grown produce, fish, poultry and eggs that have the nutrient levels that should be there are very, very few in number. So I used a general statement for Americans. I think most of the World has succumbed to diets that are not healthy and that has become the norm. To me, that is very sad indeed and a key factor as to why my brother is no longer with us. (If you haven't guessed this by now, my passion for this area of focus has become a raging fire). Time to wake up the masses as to the importance of good nutrition and how imperative that good nutrition is at staving off the many diseases and conditions that we have brought on ourselves. HA! I just saw SAD above in your comment...lol It is very SAD, indeed. See my rant on cow's milk below in my reply to Daniel. People have drank raw cow's milk for centuries and enjoyed the benefits of this great food. Handled properly there is very little health risk with milk, but politicians have outlawed the sale of fresh, raw cow's milk. Oh, just read my reply to Daniel...lol I think my raw milk box is getting tired of me standing on it.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Oh I know only too well Pat! My problem is that I haven't lived in this part of the country very long and any locals who bootleg real milk aka raw, don't know me well enough to risk selling me any. I may have to keep my own goats. Every time I go to the supermarket to buy the dead milk, which is one of the few things that I buy there these days it just about ruins my day. I call it "dead milk" because the test for pasteurization is that the enzymes have been destroyed. Go figure!

  
  about 9 years ago

Well you have just made me most thankful to be living out on the farm/ranch all my life. I appreciate that. It's interesting you say it's dead milk, because store bought milk is dead to me..lol. Oh if you are in a place to keep goats, then by all means get a doe or two. Don't know your experience with livestock, but one thing to remember is if you have a billy in with the does, the milk will take on that pungent billy goat smell. To some like my wife, that is so gross. For me, a country boy, I kinda like the gamy taste. Just FYI. Oh and pasteurization does kill the vitamins, too, especially the high temp quick processing that is employed today. If pasteurization is to take place then it's much better to bring the milk to 146 degrees for 30 minutes which is the old fashion style of pasteurization process. This milk actually caramelizes and has a very good taste while saving most vitamins and enzymes.

  
  about 9 years ago

Thinking Florida being the "Sunshine State" that it is, I know that most people tend to stay indoors due to the hot, humid conditions most of the year. So Florida can be just as bad as any other state, such as those in the Northwest, due to our own advers conditions. Milk isn't any good with its vitamin D supplements because cow's milk isn't designed for humans. You are right... Most people think the sun is bad for them and they naturally-keep their kids out of it as much as possible, especially infants.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

You make a great point that in places that is hot and humid, most will stay indoors out of the heat. I can remember my aunts and uncles in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas were like that. They pretty much hungout in the house with the AC blasting away. Cow's milk may not be designed for humans, but it is a perfect food in that it has the fats, protein and complex sugar that we humans can digest completely. Infants don't have the mature gut to digest cow's milk, but most older children and adults can. The problem with cows milk is when it is put through the Very High Temperature Pasteurization (VHTP) process, that changes the protein structures in the milk and destroys any Vitamin D that the cow has made. Yes cow's milk naturally has vitamin D because it is produced in the hair follicles of the the cow, but the FDA has said that a synthetic form of Vit. D needs to be put back into cow's milk before it can be sold to the public (Vitamin D fortified). Raw milk is the best way for people to have this awesome perfect food. (yeah, it's actually a food, not a drink, because of the amount of proteins, fats and sugars present). I always appreciate your input, Daniel and thank you for stopping in. Hope this discussion is helpful, now go find some farmer that sells raw milk....Oh wait, you can't because in most states and counties, that is against the law. Strange country we live in that will outlaw such a perfect food for humans.... and then change it in such a way as to render it somewhat harmful to us. Ok I will step down from my milk box.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Interesting article, Mac. Vitamin D is kind of a problem in the northwest due to the prolonged periods of rain and gray skies. People here focus a lot on vitamin D supplements. Curious to know who sponsors your vitamin shop ... doesn't look like Amazon. Anyway, vitamin deficiencies in infants is an interesting thought for us old schoolers :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Oh, the vitamin shop is an A-store from amazon. I need to work on getting the products I want to show up there. lol More work. Yup, the Pacific Northwest is not the only folks that need to worry. Research shows that anyone north of the 37th parallel and have 'winter' for more than 10 weeks need to be sure to supplement the little ones with Vitamin D. And old school.... oh how I miss old school...lol

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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