Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is critically important for brain development and for preventing disease. Many children have low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in many health issues children are experiencing these days. There is a lot a parent should know about supplementation to provide adequate vitamin D levels. Here are some facts you may not know:
- Brains cannot develop properly without adequate vitamin D levels
- Autism, asthma, and autoimmune disorders are linked to vitamin D deficiency
- Experts estimate that at least 50% of children and adults in US are vitamin D deficient.
- Vitamin D regulates antimicrobial proteins and is critical to the immune response in defending against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. It also helps prevent the immune system from overreacting with negative consequences.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women need at least 5,000 IU a day of vitamin D to maintain both their own vitamin D levels and that of their infants. Many pregnant women will need 7,000 IU or more.
- Vitamin D blood levels should be between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round for both children and adults, and this is especially critical if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. How much you need to achieve this level involves many factors and varies among individuals so it’s best to get tested.
- Dr. Cannell from the Vitamin D Council says adults should take 5,000 IU per day for 2–3 months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Children should take 1,000 IU for every 25 lbs of body weight. Adjust the dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.
- If you are able to get some sun during the winter, once your shadow is longer than you are tall, the sunshine you are receiving is not producing vitamin D and supplementation is needed.
- There are two kinds of vitamin D supplements: vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the kind our skin makes, and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), a synthetic variant. You should only supplement with vitamin D3, NOT vitamin D2.
- You simply can’t get enough vitamin D from food. Milk is said to contain about 100 IU per cup, but when tested only about a third of milk samples contained this much. Plus milk is often supplemented with synthetic vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Pasteurized milk isn’t good for for kids anyway.
- Magnesium, zinc, boron, and vitamin K2 are some of the co-factors necessary for vitamin D to work properly. So the diet needs to contain seeds, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Almond butter, sunflower butter, or even peanut butter, has significant amounts of these nutrients.
- If you or your child are not eating enough of these foods, you can supplement. Dr Cannell, director of the Vitamin D Council, designed a formulation that contains vitamin D, plus the necessary co-factors. You can find it here: http://www.purityproducts.com/product_information.asp?sku=1203#