Vitamin D: 2 out of 3 children in the USA are deficient

Vitamin D: 2 out of 3 children in the USA are deficient

According to a new study, only 1 in 3 children receive the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D. Deficiency of this micronutrient plays a major role in a number of ailments including rickets, multiple sclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

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According to new research from the University of Georgia, most children are likely not getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin D.

The researchers found that only about one in three babies met the daily recommendation by 13 months of age.

La vitamin D deficiency can cause several problems, including rickets, a disease that softens and weakens bones, potentially causing fractures, stunted growth and skeletal deformities.

Recent research has also shown that the vitamin may play a role in diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Experts recommend that children receive 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day. The study analyzed data collected from more than 2.300 children in the first year of life.

To reach the recommended dose, breastfed babies and infants would need one liter of formula milk per day to reach the recommended amount, which is difficult in the first months of life when babies eat little.

(Read also: Vitamin D: all the consequences of a deficiency)

A systematic review

According to the study, only 6% to 12% of babies received a vitamin D supplement during their first year of life.
In addition, less than half of bottle-fed babies and only 7% of breastfed babies who were not given vitamin D reached the recommended dose.

(Read also: The best vitamin D for children)

Vitamin D supplementation should be synonymous with breastfeeding. Regardless of whether you are exclusively breastfeeding or partially breastfeeding, babies need supplementation to meet their needs.

But that's not all, as this study also suggests that formula-fed babies may need additional vitamin D.

Experts have been recommending for decades vitamin D supplements for all children, but parents probably do not get adequate information from pediatricians. In fact, recent studies have shown that only 36% of doctors recommend vitamin D supplementation to their patients.

Education on the importance of integration is fundamental, but requires unison intervention between doctors, pediatricians and nutrition experts who have the task of properly informing parents.

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Photos: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour 

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