Is vitamin D important for kids? Do parents need to provide vitamin D supplement for kids? We, as parents are concerned about our kid’s health and supplement can be an option to supplementing them vitamin they might not get sufficiently from their diet.
I will be sharing about “Vitamin D supplement for kids”. It is served to provide you the useful information related to vitamin D for kids health. Please read on.
Vitamin D supplement for kids
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is actually a group of fat soluble steroid hormones produced naturally by human body with the help of sunlight. It is important to increase the intestinal absorption of mineral such as calcium, magnesium and phosphate. It is important for child’s growth, helps in regulating their immune system and to prevent infection and disease. Vitamin D also plays a role in brain development and mental functioning too.
According to studies, exposure of sunlight which is best for vitamin D production is between 10am to 3pm. Experts have warned us about the exposure of UV radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer. Sometimes, it is not always possible for our children to get enough sunlight exposure (maybe due to weather, geographic reason and culture) to produce enough vitamin D. Therefore, parents shall look for alternative source of vitamin D for their health benefits.
Vitamin D is usually deficient for exclusive breastfed babies, because breast milk contain lower vitamin D compared to formula powders which are fortified with vitamin. It happens if mother is less expose to sunlight or without taking any health supplement.
Therefore, obviously for lactating mothers need to take enough vitamin D to provide sufficient vitamin D for the nursing babies. Consult your doctor about the safety dosage before taking the supplement.
Importance of vitamin D for kids
Vitamin D is important in various reasons according to the study conducted in 2014 about “Vitamin D in children’s health“, researches with evidences:
1. A study has shown that mother with sufficient vitamin D intake will have 60% less likely to have a child with recurrent wheezing. By supplementing infant with vitamin D for a period, it has shown significant improvement in reducing children’s asthma, allergies and eczema.
2. Study also conducted associated with supplementing vitamin D will help reduce the risk of cancer such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
3. Some epidemiological studies have shown that sufficient vitamin D can reduce the risk of auto immune disease such as
multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM).
4. It helps in absorption of mineral like calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Children who are lack of vitamin D will likely to have rickets (which is a disease related to bone deformity and fracture). Their height and peak bone mass will be affected.
5. Some studies also showed that sufficient vitamin D in children will reduce the incidence of migraine too.
6. Vitamin D is important for children brain development and mental functioning. Vitamin D is associated with protein which involves in learning, memory, motor control and social behavior.
7. Some studies have conducted associate with vitamin D deficiency and development of autism.
Natural sources of vitamin D in nature
Vitamin D is found naturally in food too. Oily (fatty) fish are one of the best source of vitamin. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, carp and anchovies are good to consume. Vitamin D also can be found in beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and certain mushrooms.
Some products for kids which are fortified with vitamin D can be found in the market too. Example,
- Fortified yogurt
- Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
- Fortified formula milk powder
- Fortified cheese
- Fortified cereal
- egg yolk
According to the experts, consumption of food with vitamin D will only provide 100 – 200IU of vitamin D daily but exposure to sunlight with 30% of body part expose for 15-30 minutes from 10am to 3pm will provide 10000 – 20000 IU of vitamin D a day! And you do not have to worry about vitamin D overdosed by exposing to sunlight.
So, have your kids get up and do some outdoor exercise every day if it is possible and available.
Safe dosage of vitamin D for children
According to AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) actually recommends minimum of 400IU of vitamin D a day for a child to prevent deficiency and need slightly higher for older kids to obtain optimum health benefits. If you have a very young child, most infant supplements are found to be 400IUs daily. Upper limit for children less than 1 year old is 1000 – 1500IU daily.
This supplement for kids will be in the liquid drop form and gummies.
To be safe, always consult Health professional to be sure about the dosage of vitamin D supplement for your child based on child’s age, current diet and frequency of outdoor activities. If there are sufficient exposure to sunlight and eating enough food with vitamin D, no supplement is needed or necessary.
Vitamin D overdose
Overdose of vitamin D supplement can be harmful and cause intoxication. Excess vitamin D can not be eliminated out from urination but it will be stored in body tissue and will lead to other health condition. There is case where children are fed with overdose fish oil fortified with vitamin D and showing symptoms of hypercalcemia ( high calcium level in blood)- weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
Vitamin D only will cause intoxication if vitamin D supplement is overfed for a period. Exposure to sunlight will not cause vitamin D intoxication.
Who need vitamin D supplement?
Exposure to sunlight for 15-30 minutes a day during 10am to 3pm is the best prevention and treatment for vitamin D deficiency. However, not every kid in every part of the world has the “healthy sunshine” available for them. Therefore, vitamin D supplement can be an option for parents and they are easily found in the market.
Vitamin D supplement for kids are necessary for those children with the below conditions according to the research::
1. Babies who are exclusively breastfed, or consume less than 1000ml of formula milk a day. Lactating mother is less exposed to sun and not taking any vitamin D supplement.
2. Kids who are less expose to sunlight, due to weather, geographical or culture reason (e.g most of the body parts are covered with clothing)
3. Children who are under medications which prevent the absorption of vitamin D.
You can click on this link to purchase online on iherb.com.
A friendly reminder for our readers! Consult Health professional before purchase any supplements online.
Vitamin D has so many benefits on kid’s health. If food or exposure to sunlight may not be available, I think Vitamin D supplement for kids is the best option to keep your child in good health.
I wish to hear from you about your experience in supplementing your child with vitamin D. Do you find it useful? Share with us your experience so that other new parents also can be benefited from reading this article.