In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) increased the recommended daily requirement of vitamin D for babies and children from 200 IU (International Units) per day to 400 IU per day. However, in a nationwide study conducted in 2009, researchers found that about 20 percent of children ages 1 to 11 were deficient in vitamin D, with infants having a higher deficiency rate.
The study, published in Pediatrics, looked at infants ranging from one month old to ten and a half months old. These children were placed in three categories, with only about 5 to 13 percent of breastfed only babies, 9 to 14 percent of breast and bottle-fed babies and 20 to 37 percent of bottle-fed only babies getting the recommended amount of vitamin D.
Infants who are not receiving enough vitamin D can be given multivitamin supplements to prevent deficiency. According to the AAP, vitamin D helps the body absorb and retain phosphorous and calcium, which help build bone. The vitamin also helps prevent infections, in addition to certain types of cancer and diabetes. If your child may not be receiving the recommended amount of vitamin D, talk to their pediatrician about ways to increase their intake though diet or supplements.
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