Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

400 IU of vitamin D advised for babies

  • Print

TORONTO -- A supplement of 400 international units of vitamin D each day is enough to ensure an infant's health for at least the first 12 months of life, Canadian researchers have determined after testing several dosage levels in babies.

Their study, published today in a special child-health issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found 400 IU daily is as good as doses of 800, 1,200 or 1,600 IUs at preventing rickets and promoting bone health.

"Right now, the dose that we're recommending is the 400, and that's to be given every day until the baby can achieve that amount from other foods, and typically we consider that more at one year of age," said co-principal researcher Hope Weiler of McGill University in Montreal.

Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones, and it's crucial that babies get enough during the first 12 months of life when bones are growing rapidly, said Weiler, a professor in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.

However, recommendations about how much of the "sunshine vitamin" is needed to prevent rickets in infants vary widely around the world.

The researchers followed a group of 132 infants who were randomly assigned to receive one of four daily doses of vitamin D -- 400, 800, 1,200 or 1,600 IUs -- over 12 months. Most were breast-fed at the beginning of the study, though that proportion had dropped significantly by the time the babies were a year old. Tests repeated every three months measured how much vitamin D was in each infant's blood. That test provides a biomarker for how much vitamin D is stored in the liver, where it is converted to an active form that can be used by the body.

Researchers discontinued the 1,600 IU dose partway through the study because the blood levels were thought to be unnecessarily high, potentially putting infants in that group at risk for hypercalcemia, an excess of calcium.

The team also measured babies' weight, length and head circumference and used low-dose X-rays to look at skeletal growth and estimate mineral composition of the youngsters' bones.

Researchers found, as early as the three-month mark, there was no extra benefit from higher doses of vitamin D and that 400 IU per day was sufficient. Weiler said it's not known how much vitamin D a baby has received in the womb through maternal-fetal transfer or how much a mother supplies in her breast milk.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 1, 2013 C11

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Chief Clunis denies link between internal sexual-harassment investigation and Tina Fontaine case

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Carolyn Kavanagh(10) had this large dragonfly land on her while spending time at Winnetka Lake, Ontario. photo by Andrea Kavanagh (mom0 show us your summer winnipeg free press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who will you vote for in Wednesday's mayoral race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google