• Dr. Amber Brooks

The Importance of Vitamin D

In November 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doubled the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for infants and children, from 200 IU/day (2003 recommendation) to 400 IU/day. They aimed to assess the prevalence of infants meeting the recommended intake of vitamin D and the use of oral vitamin D supplements was found to be low, regardless of whether infants were consuming breast milk or formula. The findings suggested that most US infants are not consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin D, also called Cholecalciferol is important for many reasons

  • Hormone activity

  • Bone and teeth formation

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Thyroid function

  • Brain development

  • Helps absorb Calcium and Phosphorus

This is an important vitamin to have and many people do not get enough from sunlight alone. Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to rickets, osteomalacia, hypothyroid and tetany. This can easily be taken as part of routine blood work or requested specifically from your physician. Many parents may choose to supplement their child with the recommended dose but this does not mean a deficiency is still not there. There are food sources of vitamin D found in liver, oils, egg yolk, and fish. Some common signs of deficiency include

  • Sweating

  • Restlessness

  • Muscle pain

  • Weakness

  • Frontal head bulge

  • Rib bulging

  • Seizures

  • Psoriasis

  • Scaly lips

When supplementing please be careful and use a D3 form of vitamin D, not D2. If your child is getting excess vitamin D some signs may include joint pain, nausea and low vitamin K.