AAP Doubles Amount of Vitamin D for Kids

Nov. 24, 2008

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Boston, doubled the amount of vitamin D recommended for infants, children and adolescents to 400 IUs per day -- a dosage that nearly guarantees the need for supplementation for most children.

“Four hundred IU a day is the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil, which we have used for 75 years to prevent and treat rickets in children and, historically speaking, that is the amount that is in any chewable multivitamin tablet and in any liquid preparation for infants,” Frank Greer, a lead author on the AAP’s vitamin D report and chairman of the AAP National Committee on Nutrition told the Washington Post.  "We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits. Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone.”

Adequate vitamin D throughout childhood may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In adults, new evidence suggests vitamin D plays a role in the immune system and may help prevent infections, autoimmune diseases, cancer and diabetes.

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