Friday, August 31, 2012

Breastfed Babies Lack Vitamin D

First of all, I must first clarify breastfeeding is still highly recommended. However, breastfeeding alone does not provide enough vitamin D. Inadequate vitamin D levels are linked to increased chances of various diseases later in life (including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases, and osteoporosis.)

Daily supplementation of 10 μg (mcg), or 400 I.U. of Vitamin D is required for full-term infants who are breastfeeding. To supplement, you may want to feed with Vitamin D fortified infant formula in addition to breastfeeding. Again, breastfeeding is still very important. If you are breastfeeding exclusively (which is still a very good practice), vitamin D3 supplement drops are recommended.)

The mother should also have adequate Vitamin D intake, which is 5 μg (mcg), or 200 I.U. per day. This can easily be achieved by a multivitamin, such as Centrum which has 5 μg to 10 μg, depending on the formula. Good food sources of vitamin D such as low-fat milk and yogurt are also recommended.

The source of the information in this blog is based on reviews by experts recruited by Health Canada and CDC (Center for Disease Control) as listed below:

Carol Wagner, MD
Frank Greer, MD
Stephanie Atkinson, Ph.D., R.D., McMaster University
Leanne Ward, MD, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Francis Glorieux, MD, Ph.D., McGill University

More information about infant nutrition and health can be found at

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