Breastfeeding is believed to provide children with the necessary nutrients to boost the immune system. However, a new study has recently revealed that children who are being breastfed should also take Vitamin D supplement to avoid the risk of developing rickets.
There are a number of conditions that come about due to the lack of vitamin D. Past studies have shown that being exclusively breastfed until one-year-old without getting vitamin D supplement may result to having soft and weak bones and develop rickets. Dr. Jonathon Maguire of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada is the lead author of the study. He explained that children who are breastfeeding after age 1 should take these supplements to be able to reach the recommended amount of vitamin D in the child’s body.
The researchers followed 2,500 children since the day they were born to find out more about the connection between the levels of vitamin D and how the length of breastfeeding affects it. These children were part of a program which aims to prevent usual childhood nutrition problems that can eventually have less impact on health later in their lives, according to Tech Times.
The result revealed that after turning 1-year-old, breastfed babies have a higher chance of being deficient of vitamin D by six percent every month. This also means that in the succeeding years, ages 2 to 3 the vitamin deficiency can worsen as depletion rate goes higher. Researchers also said that normal food did not have impact on the level of vitamin D in children involved in the study. They believe it is because the food which they feel is high in vitamin D, such as yogurt, egg yolks and the likes, still can’t provide these children the amount of vitamin D they need.
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Breastmilk can only provide babies with 25 IU (international units) of vitamin D per liter which is not even close to the 400IU the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation, Medical Daily reports. Health experts advise parents to still give vitamin D supplement even if children are taking in solid foods. Once they stopped breastfeeding, parents should be able to give these children at least 32 ounces of vitamin D-fortified formula milk every day to avoid the risk of any early developmental problems.
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