Should I be supplementing my child with extra Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin present in some foods like fatty fish and egg yolks(albeit tiny quantities!).It is also produced when UV lights from the sun reaches the skin to trigger Vitamn D synthesis. Vitamin D undergoes two sets of hydroxylations in the body,first in the liver to Calcidiol and then in the kidney to active Calcitriol.
Vitamin D promotes Calcium absorption in the gut and maintains Calcium and Phosphate concentrations in the blood to enable normal moneralisation of bones. Without Vitamin D,bones can become thin,brittle and misshapen leading to Rickets in children. There are also some promising studies that Vitamin D plays a role in adaptive immunity,protection from viral illness,autoimmune diseases,allergies,cancer prevention and mental health.
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that children should be kept out of the sun, and if sun exposed wear protective clothing as well as sunscreen to protect their skins from UV damage.This however prevents the skin from synthesising Vitamin D and supplementation becomes necessary.
The dosage is 400 IU beginning soon after birth,in fact,mothers should already start in pregnancy along with their other supplements and continuing until the baby is weaned from breastmilk at the very earliest! Some formula milks are fortified with Vitamin D,make sure that it is in fact 400IU per day and if so,supplementing is not necessary.(This does not mean that breast milk is less superior than formula milk,it is still the gold standard.)
I added some products that are available at Dischem for supplementation:
1.Reuterina with Vitamin D:
This is very useful for small babies as it also has added probiotics in,but is quite expensive. (R289.95)
2.Inova D drops: Reasonable at R78.95
3.Agera Probilift D drops:
Also with added Probiotics at R179.95
4.Metagenics D3 liquid R175.00
National institute of health. (n.d.). Retrieved from Vitamin D fact sheet for professionals: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
Paediatrics, A. A. (n.d.). Vit D and iron supplemetantaion:Where we stand. Retrieved from Healthy children.org: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Vitamin-Iron-Supplements.aspx
Weydert, J. (2014, September 12). Pubmed. Retrieved from Children: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928729/