Can You Raise Vitamin D Levels In Breast Milk
What if a breastfeeding mom takes vitamin D? Does that change levels in her breast milk?
One study found that mothers could safely supplement 6400 IU/day and adequately supply their breast milk to satisfy the infant requirement, says Dr. Liermann. But mothers should discuss with their pediatrician to determine if this is the right option for them.
Where Does Vitamin D Come From
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun, though. Most kids and adults spend lots of time indoors at school and work. When outdoors, it’s important to protect skin to prevent skin cancer and skin damage from too much sun exposure.
Very few foods have vitamin D naturally. The foods with the most are fatty fish , liver, eggs and fish oils. Kids don’t eat these foods a lot. That’s why food companies add vitamin D to milk, yogurt, baby formula, juice, cereal, and other foods.
Adding vitamin D to foods is called “fortifying.” It’s helpful, but it still may not be enough.
To get enough vitamin D, children often need to take a multivitamin with vitamin D or a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is sometimes labeled as vitamin D3.
You can buy vitamin D pills, gummies, chewables, liquids, and sprays in stores without a prescription. Ask your child’s health care provider for advice on choosing the right one.
Vitamin D And Your Baby
Vitamin D helps our bodies use calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
Low levels of vitamin D in babies/children can cause rickets. Rickets can result in weak bones, delayed walking, bowed legs, and swollen wrists or ankles. If untreated, rickets can lead to failure to grow, deformed or broken bones, pneumonia and seizures.
Every year a number of babies/children in New Zealand are diagnosed with rickets.
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Description Of Clinical Trial
This randomized controlled trial divided the breastfeeding women/infant pairs, at 4-6 weeks post-partum, into one of three groups:
Previous research found that if the breastfeeding mother was only taking the recommended daily allowance of 400 IU per day, then an infant, solely fed on breast milk, would get the equivalent of 33 68 IU vitamin D / liter, which would provide the infant with far less than the recommended 400 IU/day. Hollis was a co-author in a study that reported infants breastfed by mothers taking only 400 IU/day typically had vitamin D levels < 5 ng/ml .
Why Does Your Baby Need Vitamin D
Here is how vitamin D helps keep your baby healthy :
Your babys body will be able to do all these functions if it gets adequate vitamin D.
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What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D2 And D3
Vitamin D2 and D3 are two important forms of vitamin D. D2 comes from plants and D3 comes from mainly animal sources or it is made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. D3 is better absorbed and more potent than D2. Fortified milk or juice is more likely to contain D2 because it is cheaper to produce.
How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much
Because vitamin D is fat soluble, there have been repeated warnings against overdosing. In 2002, the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission released its position the safety of vitamin D.
The report stated that a daily intake of 2,000 IU for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and 1,000 IU for children may be taken for extended periods during the first 10 years of life with no risk of side effects and without medical supervision.
Most experts consider a daily intake of up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D to be safe for adults.
Since direct sunlight produces 10,000 IU of vitamin D in the human body, this may be the physiological upper limit.
Since vitamin D is potentially toxic, the state-approved limit is 50 mcg . However, this is a conservative limit and is likely 5 times too low.
Known cases of vitamin D toxicity with hypercalcemia in which the 25D concentration and vitamin D dose are known all point to an intake of 40,000 IU a day or more.
Excessive intake of vitamin D can only occur by taking dietary supplements. But one would have to take some 40,000 IU per day for several months to cause vitamin D overdose.
One-time massive-dose therapy involving high doses do not result in an overdose of vitamin D, even at doses in excess of 100,000 IU.
The symptoms of vitamin D intoxication include nausea, high calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, irregular heartbeat and kidney stones.
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Watch Out For Dosing Errors With Liquid Vitamin D For Infants
Infants who are breastfed or partially breastfed should receive a daily supplement of vitamin D starting in the first few days of life. Breast milk has only 25 units of vitamin D per liter . The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a daily dose of 400 units of vitamin D for infants. Infants who drink less than a liter of formula also may need a lower dose of a vitamin D supplement. Although formula is fortified with vitamin D, enough may not be consumed each day to get the total recommended dose of 400 units.
Vitamin D Your Baby And You
It is a known fact that human milk is the superior infant food. Human milk is the most complete nutritionally, immunologically, and is the only food designed specifically for your baby. Given that it is expected to be perfect, you may be confused about why your babys doctor is encouraging you to give your breastfed baby vitamin D supplements.
In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics amended its recommendation regarding vitamin D supplementation of infants and children. The current recommendation reads:
A supplement of 400 IU/day of vitamin D should begin within the first few days of life and continue throughout childhood. Any breastfeeding infant, regardless of whether he or she is being supplemented with formula, should be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D. :1142-52)
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is a key nutrient in the maintenance of bone health in children and adults. Because vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the body, vitamin D deficiency is marked by such conditions as rickets , osteomalacia , and can lead to osteoporosis if left unchecked longterm. While researchers are still working to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between low levels of vitamin D and other health issues, anecdotal and epidemiological correlations have been found between vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency and the following:
I spend a lot of time outside. Surely Im not deficient in vitamin D.
Should I supplement my breastfed baby with vitamin D?
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What Doses Are Available
Most supplement manufacturers have to keep their pills small enough for the average person to swallow comfortably. The most common dosage of vitamin D from supplements is 400 IU, the Linus Pauling Institute reports, but theyre also available in 1000 IU and 2000 IU. Some calcium supplements also contain vitamin D.
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How Do Dosing Errors Happen
Liquid vitamin D comes in different doses and strengths ranging from 5,000 units per 5 drops to 400 units per drop to 400 units per 1mL. The higher doses are intended for older children and adults the lower doses are for infants and young children. Mistakes can happen if parents accidentally purchase the concentrated, higher doses of the adult vitamin D liquid and give it to their infants.
This mistake happened just a few weeks ago. A mother unknowingly purchased the concentrated adult vitamin D supplement for her infant. The infants doctor had told the mother to give 1 mL of a vitamin D supplement to her child daily. The doctor did not tell the mother which brand of vitamin D drops to buy. He assumed she would purchase a commonly used Enfamil brand supplement, D-Vi Sol, which contains 400 units of vitamin D per 1 mL . The error was noticed several weeks later during a follow-up office visit after the infants mother showed the doctor the vitamin D supplement she was using. The infant had received at least 40,000 units of vitamin D per day because she gave the child a full dropper of the adult supplement! Fortunately, the infant was not harmed although the amount of vitamin D in her blood was very high.
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What Causes A Deficiency In Vitamin D
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. The exact amount of sunlight people need to make enough vitamin D depends on their skin color, the time of day theyre outside, and the time of the year.
When ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin, it triggers your body to synthesize vitamin D. Once in your body, vitamin D needs to be activated through a process known as hydroxylation.
A vitamin D deficiency is usually caused by not getting enough sunlight.
Pregnant or nursing mothers dont usually get enough vitamin D to provide for both themselves and their babies. This is why babies who are exclusively breastfed are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. Breast milk contains very little vitamin D.
Zarbees Naturals Baby Vitamin D Supplement
Founded by Dr. Zak Zarbock, a pediatrician and dad, Zarbees Naturals creates a vitamin D supplement for babies containing natural ingredients only no drugs, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes.
All of their products are gluten-free and pediatrician recommended. This supplement is given in an oral droplet either in breast milk or bottle or mixed with food. Remember, though, that your baby must finish all of what you mix the drop with to get the full dose of 400 IU per 0.25 ml.
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S Is For Skimpy Sun Exposure
The other source of vitamin D isnt food at allits the sun. Ultraviolet rays stimulate the skin to produce vitamin D. This creates a conundrum, of course, since its known that direct exposure to sunlight without sun protection can drive up a childs risk of developing skin cancer. Thats why the AAP says infants under 6 months should never have direct sun exposure. Older children should be slathered with a generous amount of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 to 30 before going outside.
Increased use of sunscreen may be another reason vitamin D deficiency has become more common in kids, so is there really any harm in allowing a child to soak up a few rays in the name of bone health? Thats a tough call, because no one really knows how much sun exposure is enough to get the benefits.
Some vitamin D researchers estimate that just five to 30 minutes of sun exposure to the face, arms, legs, or back between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., twice a week, is plenty, but you should check with your pediatrician about whether it would be a good idea to let your child go out in the sun unprotected for even short periods of time.
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Recommended Dose Vitamin D
Moreover, the infants who are obese, dark skin, the one rarely of outside, or the one wear clothing that covers heir skin. They need a supplement diet to ensure they have level vitamin D in the body. Well, some of the medications interfere with vitamin to make sure that your kids pediatrician knows all the medicines they intake usually.
Hence, in this way, you will come to serve your kid a good amount of Vitamin D. Because it will also be very beneficial in supporting good nervous system health, strengthens defenses against infections, and can improve lung and heart health in every aged person. As per the study shows that good vitamin D supplements can prevent the risk of diabetes, strengthening bones and preventing rickets as well.
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Vitamin D And Rickets
In the 1600s, the industrial revolution made its way to Northern Europe. This brought tall buildings, air pollution, and a disease never seen before: rickets.
Rickets is a bone disease resulting in defective bone mineralization, usually brought on by vitamin D deficiency. Children with rickets show skeletal abnormities such as bowed legs, softening of the skull, and frontal bossing . They also have impaired growth and developmental delays.
Left untreated, rickets can result in death. And for more than 200 years the cause of this terrible disease remained unknown.
In the early 1800s, clues about what might help came to light. For instance, experts began to notice that children who lived in the inner city had a higher incidence of rickets than those living in rural areas. Later, children exposed to a mercury arc lamp showed improvements in rickets.
By the turn of the 20th century, 80-90% of children living in Northern Europe and Northeastern United states had rickets. During the time period between 1910 and 1961, 13,807 rickets-related deaths occurred with 8387 of them being in children less than one year old.
Soon vitamin D deficiency was found to be the cause and correcting it the cure of rickets.