Kid's Health

Kid’s Core Supplements: Vitamin D

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns.

Vitamin D is the last of the four Kid’s Core Supplements recommended by The Healthy Place owner, Tim O’Brien. The Healthy Place team believes that there are four Kid’s Core Supplements that support children’s health. They are multi-vitamins, omega-3 fats, vitamin D, and probiotics.

After starting my research I discovered Tim isn’t the only one recommending “the sunshine vitamin” for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone, and John Hopkins Children’s Center are only a few of the medical establishments that have published articles on this subject.

Is vitamin D important? Wow! It sure is!! John Hopkins even released a memo to pediatricians to “screen all kids for vitamin D deficiency, test those at high risk”.

Why Vitamin D?

Why such a strong recommendation? Because several large studies revealed that ten percent of US children are deficient in vitamin D and 60 percent of children may have suboptimal levels. It’s obviously a BIG problem. Severe and prolonged vitamin D deficiency can affect many body organs and functions but the one most people think of is rickets. The characteristic bowing of the legs seen in rickets is an outward and easily recognized sign of a problem, but many symptoms of this deficiency are much less noticeable and rarely diagnosed.

A Growing Deficiency in Children

There are several factors that lead to vitamin D deficiency in children. While not consuming foods high in vitamin D does contribute to the problem, the main cause is limited exposure to sunlight. Not only are today’s children spending less time in the sun, they are often covered in sun block which stops the body’s production of vitamin D. Sun exposure through windows or clothes doesn’t benefit the body either. To make matters even more complicated the total amount of vitamin D your body can produce is affected by season, time of day, ozone levels, latitude and how cloudy it is.

Vitamin D’s Role In The Body

What does vitamin D do in the body? It helps the body absorb calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D functions as a hormone, with jobs that include regulation of the immune system, insulin production, and cell growth. Lack of vitamin D can not only cause rickets, but it can also keep a child from reaching their genetically programmed height and peak bone mass. Studies also suggest that a deficiency can contribute to the development of some cancers and heart disease.

Some other benefits from vitamin D include:

  • Decreased Inflammation
  • Reduction in Allergies
  • Decrease in Dental Cavities
  • Prevention and Treatment of Depression

Ways to Increase Vitamin D Levels

What can you do to increase your children’s vitamin D levels?

  • Sunshine: Get them out in the sun, remembering that short exposures are of greater benefit than long ones. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun on your face and arms two to three times per week is recommended. Obviously those of us in Wisconsin enjoy several months where sun exposure is much more limited. Despite the season, sunshine on their faces does have some benefit!
  • Foods:  Increase their consumption of vitamin D rich foods. Topping this list is oily fish (cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna), beef liver and egg yolks from organic and pastured chickens.
  • Supplements:  Across the board, in articles from Europe to the US, pediatricians and researchers advise supplementing with vitamin D. Interestingly this recommendation starts at birth and onward throughout life.

My mother remembers taking a spoonful of cod liver oil each day throughout fall, winter and spring as a child. This was common practice years ago. She doesn’t treasure the memory, but was compliant because it wasn’t an option. Today’s supplements don’t taste like cod liver oil. There are many options available.

The team at The Healthy Place feels that knowledge is power! The key is having knowledge to guide you to what is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Their mission is to help your and your family “Find Your Healthy Place”!

We love to answer your questions. Contact us or stop at our store, located in Madison, WI. A member of our team can help you find a Vitamin D supplement that supports your children’s health.

Sources

http://pediatrics.med.nyu.edu/conditions-we-treat/conditions/vitamin-d-deficiency

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Screen-All-Kids-for-Vitamin-D-Deficiency.aspx

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/vitamins-for-children.aspx#close

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0815/p629.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/10052972/Six-year-old-diagnosed-with-rickets-after-using-sunscreen.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/vitamin_d_deficiency/page4.htm


Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”


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Fitchburg, WI 53719
608-663-2640

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One comment on “Kid’s Core Supplements: Vitamin D

  1. Mary on

    This article popped into my Facebook feed and I clicked over only to be shocked at all of this information. There is so much that we don’t hear about good nutrition and common deficiencies in America. I’ll be passing this along to my daughter for her to read and send her in to see Tim about a good vitamin D for her kids. I always assumed getting some sunlight would be enough. Thanks for the great information.

    Reply

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