Natural Foods Merchandiser

Vitamin D Dose Adjusted to Help Stave Off Rickets

In response to the continued increase in the incidence of rickets in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that all breast-fed infants receive a minimum of 200 IU of vitamin D daily.

Rickets, which is characterized by bowed legs and widened wrists, affects about nine in 1 million children.

According to a report that appeared in the April edition of Pediatrics, infants consuming any formulas sold in the United States receive an adequate amount of vitamin D as long as they are consuming at least 500 ml of formula daily.

Breast milk, however, does not contain enough vitamin D to protect against rickets. In the past, breast-fed infants, a population on the rise, produced the extra needed vitamin D through sun exposure. But increased concern about skin cancer means babies are spending less time in the sun.

The study recommends the following populations receive 200 IU of vitamin D daily:

  • All breast-fed infants until weaned or drinking at least 500 ml of vitamin D-fortified milk or formula daily

  • Nonbreast-fed infants consuming fewer than 17 ounces of fortified milk or formula

  • Children and adolescents who drink fewer than two glasses of fortified milk daily, do not take a supplement with 200 IU vitamin D or do not get regular sunlight exposure.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 5/p.

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