Milk Intake and Supplements Increase Children’s Vitamin D Levels
Recently published research at the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows that taking vitamin D supplements and drinking cow’s milk are more important than diet, skin color or exposure to sunlight in determining vitamin D levels in children. This supports previous findings that drinking two cups of cow’s milk daily is enough to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D in children.
Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a researcher and pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital examined data of almost 2,000 healthy children under the age of 6 who participated in the TARGet Kids! (The Applied Research Group for Kids!) study, which was being conducted at the St. Michael’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children. The program, which aims to prevent common nutrition problems in young children and to understand their impact on health and disease later in life, follows children from birth.
The researchers found that children who took vitamin D supplements and drank two cups of cow’s milk daily had higher vitamin D stores. Both of these factors had greater association with vitamin D levels than a child’s skin color or amount of exposure to the sun.
Vitamin D deficiency increases one’s risk for a number of chronic illnesses, such as allergies and asthma in children. Severe deficiency leads to a softening of bones, called rickets. Dr. Maguire states that early childhood is a critical stage in development, and maintaining optimal vitamin D levels at this stage is important to health outcomes in later life.
St. Michael’s Hospital. Supplements and cow’s milk play biggest roles in determining vitamin D levels in children. ScienceDaily.