You may be confused with some advices to get your baby taking vitamin D supplements starting soon after her birth. We are sure that many parents are also very concern about this issue but not everyone gets necessary and fully information especially about overdoses of vitamin D.
What is role of vitamin D?
Vitamin D takes a very important role in building and maintaining bone strength. On one hand, this vitamin affects directly the cellular which develop bone strength. On the other hand, it supports calcium absorption in gut to form and maintain strong bones and teeth. Consequently, a deficiency of vitamin D leads to serious problems such as thinning, soft and misshaped bones or rickets in infants. In addition, research shows that vitamin D also reinforces immune system and helps to prevent cancer.
Is vitamin D supplement necessary for baby?
The answer is “Yes”. There is a little chance that your baby gets full needed amount of vitamin D on her own:
- Vitamin D which is also known as “sunshine vitamin” is made while skin directly contacts with sunlight. But how long your baby should be exposed to the sunlight? There is no official research which indicates that time. Surely, the volume of ultra-violate B (UVB) which is responsible of making vitamin D in LA’s sunlight is different to Washington D.C ‘s sunlight. Moreover, baby’s skin is very sensitive and thin. So it is not recommended to expose your baby’s skin to the sunlight for a long time.
- Actually, vitamin D is found is certain foods such as breast and formula milk, mushroom, eggs, tuna, etc. However, the amount of vitamin D in food is very modest and is often not fully consumed.
- Moreover, from 0 to 12 months, baby is growing very quick. So it requires a greater amount of vitamin D to build strong bones. Therefore, baby should take vitamin D daily to make up for low level in food.
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What’s consequence if high-dose of Vitamin D?
Even though it plays a key role in bone strength of baby, toxicity of vitamin D which is consequence of an overdose may causes lot of severe health problems:
- Decrease of appetite
- Frequent urination
- Itchy skin
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle and joint pain
- Abdominal pain
Especially, research shows a close relationship between overdose of vitamin D and digestive tract and kidney damage. In the past, it has been believed that high-dose of vitamin D help to prevent colds in the winter. Despite its undeniable role in supporting the immune system, following recent studies, there is no remarkable prove that children using high-dose of vitamin D are better protected from colds and upper respiratory infection in winter than children with normal dose.
Which’s adequate dose of vitamin D for daily use?
Of course, it’s the best if you check with your paediatrician before getting your baby takes vitamin D supplements. In fact, the daily dose of vitamin D must depends on which’s type of milk you are feeding your baby (e.g. breast milk or formula milk) and on the current calcium level in her blood.
Besides, in case your baby does not experience any health problems, you may consider some recommendations from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) for vitamin D intake of babies:
If your baby is breast-fed or mixed-fed or if she consumes less than 32 ounces (about 1 litre) of vitamin D-fortified milk per day, it is recommended to use an oral vitamin D supplement of 400 international units (IU) per day since the very few days after her birth. Keep giving her vitamin D supplements until she weans 3 times or drinks at least 32 ounces of formula milk a day.
Besides, you should not excess the maximum dosage of vitamin D for daily intake:
Maximum dosage (IU)
Over 9 year old
Under 8 year old
Under 3 year old
Under 1 year old
Note: A dose of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D is 400 units.
Which kind and form of vitamin D is recommended to babies?
There are two types of vitamin D you may find in supplements: Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) and Colecalciferol (Vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is obtained from plant while vitamin D3 is originated from animal. Both these two types of vitamin are efficient for daily treatment. However, the D3 is preferred because its formula is similar to the nature D that human body makes from sun exposure.
In fact, you may find lot of over-the-counter vitamin D supplements:
- In liquid form: Abidec, Ddrops, DLux oral spray, etc.
- In pill form: D’flouretten, Cataplex D, etc
The AAP itself advised to use vitamin D in liquid form because liquid D is much easier to consume. However, parent or caregivers should pay attention while giving baby liquid D because dropper is likely to deliver excessive amount of vitamin D. Please only use the dropper that’s provided and carefully follow instruction coming with the supplement.
Only use the dropper in package and make sure that it is clear marked is an efficient way to reassure the adequate amount of vitamin D that your baby receives.