Vitamin D and Infants
Recent reports of children hospitalized for rickets across the country have led the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to double the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for infants, children, and teens. In a report released on October 13, 2008, the AAP urges parents to ensure all children receive 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D each day from their first days of life.
Rickets is a crippling illness that was thought to have been eradicated back in the 1930s but is making a shocking comeback. A study published in the 2000 edition of the Journal of Pediatrics reported 30 confirmed cases of rickets in North Carolina in the preceding 10 years, with more than half of those occurring in an 18-month period. Frank Greer, MD, co-author of the AAP report, says, "We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits." According to the newly published data, vitamin D not only prevents and cures rickets, but may also reduce a child's future risk of osteoporosis as well as inhibit autoimmune diseases, cancer, and diabetes in adults.