What is the Best Dosage of Vitamin D for Children?
by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Most doctors agree that infants should take vitamin D3, but there is variation among pediatricians and pediatric groups about the ideal dosage of vitamin D for babies. This may leave parents puzzled about how much vitamin D to give to their babies. In the US and Canada the recommended dose is 400 IU per day. In Europe the recommended dose is 1,000 IU per day.
Recent studies have shown that higher doses yield higher blood levels of vitamin D for longer periods of time. All studies in the United States that have determined the recommended doses assume that the goal is a blood level of 20-30 ng/mL. This is an adequate level for bone growth, but may not be ideal for achieving and maintaining other desired effects of vitamin D including the many beneficial effects on immune function, and reduction in allergies, asthma, tooth decay, and diabetes. Most holistic practitioners recommend maintaining a vitamin D blood level of 50-100 ng/mL. The Vitamin D Council recommends a level of 60-80 ng/mL.
The amount of vitamin D supplementation necessary to achieve these higher levels varies among individual children depending on their genetic programming. It is helpful if children have their vitamin D levels checked.
The Vitamin D Council recommends that breastfed infants take at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day and formula fed infants take 1,600 IU. Studies have confirmed that these supplement levels are safe for infants.
Toddlers and older children
Older children can take 1,000 IU per 25 pounds (11 kg) of body weight. Then have their vitamin D levels checked once every month or two until they reach desired levels. Blood tests can be done at a lab with a doctor’s order or there are home blood tests that parents can do with a simple finger stick. Parents can order a test kit through ZRT Labs in the US or from City Assays in the UK.
During warm weather, if children are out in the sun swimming or playing outdoors, then their need for supplementation will decrease. Then begin again during colder weather with less sun exposure.
Dr. Randall Neustaedter OMD
Holistic Health Care for Children and Adults
1779 Woodside Rd, Suite 201C
Redwood City, CA 94061
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