15 things every Parent should know about VITAMIN D!

  • vitamin D headerBelow are just a few of the reasons Baby{Food}Steps believes

Vitamin D should be checked and measured at least one time a year for every MAN, WOMAN, and CHILD… and if the level is below 40-60 (ng/ml), should be supplemented and/or augmented with food and sun exposure! (with your doctor’s supervision and monitoring)

1. Vitamin D is the SUNSHINE vitamin! 

A fat-soluble vitamin occurring in several forms, especially vitamin D2 or vitamin D3, required for normal growth of teeth and bones, and produced in general by ultraviolet irradiation of sterols found in milk, fish, and eggs.  Source

2. Vitamin D levels drop in the winter-time and drop depending where you live!

This is due to lessened hours of daylight and thus lessened sun exposure, with the peak vitamin D levels occurring in September (just after summer) and the dip in D levels occurring in February click here to see DATA and source.

Anyone lives that a latitude above Atlanta GA, you cannot make any Vitamin D (from sunlight) in the winter months (November-February). Time of day is important too! Even in the summer time… most Vitamin D production occurs between 10am-3pm. source

3. Vitamin D production is REDUCED by SUNSCREEN.

In our haste to prevent our children from the “harmful” rays of the sun and slathering them with sunscreen before they step outside to play, are we doing more harm than good? I am not saying that sunscreen is a bad thing, but SOME  BARE  SKIN exposure EACH and EVERY day without sunblock is crucial, too, for our children’s ability to maintain vitamin D levels!

Sun avoidance practices, melanin in pigmented skin, and sun protection creams (sunscreen), if used properly, can dramatically reduce vitamin D synthesis. source

4. Vitamin D may be MORE effective than a flu shot, even at low dose supplementation.

Vitamin D3, even when taken in low daily dosages, has been found to slash your risk of developing the flu by 42%source

5. The drop in Vitamin D levels in the winter may account for the “flu season”.

2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished the seasonality of influenza and dramatically reduced its self-reported incidence source 

6. The RDA for Vitamin D in the USA may be inadequate for YOUR CHILD’s health.

The cutoffs for lab values which mark a Vitamin D as normal, may not be normal or adequate for optimal health.

For instance on a recent Quest Diagnostic test cutoffs say that 30-100ng/mL are normal ranges, yet there is a growing body of scientific evidence that is showing that a range in the 40-60mg/mL range is ideal (source).  However the official US government recommendations for vitamin D levels (as noted in the graphic below),  recommend that levels at or above 20 ng/mL are adequate for health, which may not be the case. source

Vitamin D1

Vitamin D2

7. Vitamin D is the precursor to GLUTATHIONE in the BRAIN!! 

1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) can also inhibit the synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase and increase glutathione levels, suggesting a role for the hormone in brain detoxification pathways.  source

8. Vitamin D has an impact on your IMMUNE SYSTEM and our ability to fight infections/viruses:

INFLUENZA-see above

HIV/AIDS-

Higher vitamin D levels were associated with a slower progression of HIV to AIDS.

Women with vitamin D levels above 32 ng/mL (80 nmol/L) had a 25% lower risk of disease progression.  source and source

MRSA-

In the United States, people with vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to have MRSA bacteria in their nose. source

9. Vitamin D has an impact on some children with AUTISM.

Vitamin D deficiency–either during pregnancy or early childhood–may be an environmental trigger for ASD in individuals genetically predisposed for the broad phenotype of autism. On the basis of the results of the present review, we argue for the recognition of this possibly important role of vitamin D in ASD, and for urgent research in the field. Source

10. Vitamin D has an impact on those with ASTHMA.

Children with asthma appear to be at increased risk of vitamin D insufficiency. source

11. Vitamin D has an impact on those with DIABETES.

Dietary vitamin D supplementation is associated with reduced risk of type 1 diabetes. Ensuring adequate vitamin D supplementation for infants could help to reverse the increasing trend in the incidence of type 1 diabetes. source

12. Vitamin D has an impact on THYROID Function.

 Significantly low levels of vitamin D were documented in patients with AITDs (autoimmune thyroid diseases)  that were related to the presence of antithyroid antibodies and abnormal thyroid function tests, suggesting the involvement of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of AITDs and the advisability of supplementation.  source

13.Vitamin D has an impact on HEART Health.

 Vitamin D deficiency and consequent hypocalcaemia are seen in association with severe and life-threatening infant heart failure.  source

Vitamin D supplementation has great benefits as an anti-inflammatory agent in infants with Congestive Heart Failure. source

14. Vitamin D has an impact on CANCER PREVENTION.

It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40 to 60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three fourths of deaths from these diseases in the United States and Canada, based on observational studies combined with a randomized trial. Such intakes also are expected to reduce case-fatality rates of patients who have breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer by half. There are no unreasonable risks from intake of 2000 IU per day of vitamin D(3), or from a population serum 25(OH)D level of 40 to 60 ng/mL. The time has arrived for nationally coordinated action to substantially increase intake of vitamin D and calcium.  source

Click on Graph for LARGER view
Disease Prevention depending on Vitamin D supplementation

Here is a graph that SHOCKED ME… look at all the conditions (including Cancer) that’s incidence can be lowered by increasing one’s Vitamin D level.

15. Vitamin D is important for PREGNANCY and INFANTS too!

Studies have shown that supplementation up to 4,000IU (well above the 400IU that are recommended ) are safe for pregnant woman and the study even showed that there were lower rates of infections and lower rates of  complications in birth (preterm labor, pre-eclampsia, pre term birth) (50% decrease comparing the 4000IU group vs. 400IU group)  source

Two more great videos on pregnancy and breastfeeding and Vitamin D are HERE and HERE !

OK, I get it! Vitamin D is important

NOW WHAT!?

For Testing: ask your doctor or pediatrician to order a Vitamin D test from Quest or LabCorp or order your OWN here to do at home.

For Results: If you already have had testing done, make sure you know what UNITS (ng/ml  or nmol/L) your level is reported in, you can convert them here:

ng/ml  or nmol/L

What number should be my/my child’s GOAL?

40 to 60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L) for optimal health

(according to this doctor/research supported organization:  http://www.grassrootshealth.net/)

How to correct deficiencies:

Each person is different and will require different amounts of supplementation to reach an ideal level, but here is a CHART that may help as a guide.

Your options for repletion include ORAL supplementation (in the form of a pill, liquid or gummy, of Vitamin D2 and D3) OR  UV radiation (from the sunlight or artificial tanning lamps).

And HERE are some more recommendations for repletion of deficiencies. As with any other supplementation…please check with your doctor FIRST!

How much is too much? Vitamin D Toxicity:

As with anything… too much of ANYTHING can be toxic. How much is too much is completely different from person to person depending on our biochemistry. Here are some guidelines that may be helpful though.

The Mayo Clinic Warns:

Vitamin D toxicity can result from regular excess intake of this vitamin and may lead to hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and excess bone loss. Individuals at particular risk include those with hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroids), kidney disease, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or histoplasmosis (examples of immune disorders).

And here is a document you can share with your Doctor about Vitamin D supplementation.

Sooo

DO YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD’s VITAMIN D Level?

DO YOU KNOW YOURS? 

If so leave us a comment (anonymous if you want!) and let us know what your levels are!

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About Baby(food)Steps

Taking Babyfoodsteps to a healthier, happier family!
This entry was posted in Advocacy, Allergies, Asthma, Autism, Medical, Vitamins and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 15 things every Parent should know about VITAMIN D!

  1. Rhonda says:

    Mine is way low. 19 I think so I’m on 2 a week Rx for 90 days and I’ll definitely have my dd’s checked at next appt. which should be soon to catch lowest levels.
    Friend had very low d and it messed up her bones. Part of her hip bone died and she had to have hip replacement.

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  3. Paul Thomas says:

    Great job and resources! thanks for sharing. Dr Paul

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  5. Richard Roberts, PhD, MD says:

    Trying to get vitamin D from sunshine is simply wrong. Long–term exposure to ultraviolet light causes a horrible increase in the rate of malignant melanoma–totally unnecessary if you get your vitamin D3 levels up with oral vitamin D3. Many physicians don’t know the dose–usually it takes 10,000 u of D3 daily for 6 to 8 months to bring abnormally low values back to normal. But NEVER put kids in the sun without sunscreen–UV exposure causing melanoma is cumulative over the years–and never allow a minor to use tanning booths, which should be banned. UV ages skin, in addition to increasing the risk of this difficult-to-treat cancer.

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  8. Kristin says:

    Thankful you had this article! I just had my son’s level checked for the first time (mito, complex 1), and I am horrified at how low it was (5!!). I’m so upset that our last specialist saw “no reason” to test him. He’s starting on a rx supplement, and then will be rechecked, but I would prefer he get what he needs from food and sunshine. I do have a question, though- for children with suspected fatty acid oxidation disorders (maybe secondary to mito), what is the best way to get the vitamin d into them? If they have trouble with fats, won’t they have trouble with fat-soluble vitamins? Does that mean food sources wouldn’t work as well? Or that sunshine won’t, either? Thank you for any suggestions!

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