Sunday, February 28, 2010

News You Can Use. A Dose of the D!

What?? are you surprised this is NOT about potty training? Me too.
This post is about Vitamin D. I have been reading and hearing a lot about this vitamin. I have had quite a few runner friends that have been low on the D- that's a shame because it is very very important for daily function! Without vitamin D the body cannot take up and use enough calcium as it should. We need calcium for healthy bones and teeth!
Study after study shows low levels of vitamin D is linked to nearly every health condition you can think of: heart disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and much more.
Who is the most at risk of vitamin D deficiency?? Exclusively breastfed babies--that's who? Seems strange if you ask me, but it's a fact. Even though breastfeeding is considered the ideal form of nourishment for infants, breast milk does not have enough concentrations of vitamin D.
As a vitamin found in many foods (eggs yolks, fish and fortified products)most kids don't get enough from foods alone. Here are some ways to ensure your kids ( and you!!) get enough vitamin D:

Incorporate vitamin D-rich foods: eggs and fortified foods like cow's milk, soy milk. rice milk, cereals and bread. Read the nutrition label for vitamin content as well. (400 IU/day is ideal).

Ask your doctor how mush fish is safe for your child to eat. Fish boasts vitamin D, some types of fish( shark, some tunas and swordfish) might have too much mercury. It's probably best not to eat more than 2 servings of lower-mercury fish a week such as catfish, salmon, shrimp, tilapia and clams.

Ask your doctor for a prescription for vitamin D drops after the birth of your baby. Breastfeeding is still the best way to nourish newborns and babies throughout at least the first 6 months. The drops just ensure that your baby is even healthier.

Go out and play! The sun offers lots of benefits and not just a burn! Just make sure to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to your child even on cloudy days. The sun exposure will help their bodies produce vitamin D.

Establishing good habits in infancy and childhood will most likely carry over into adulthood. Making sure that your kids get 400 IU daily of vitamin D may help curb infections and fend off health problems such as osteoporosis, cancer and autoimmune diseases as an adult.
Good to know!

*info was gathered from an article in Family magazine. Article written by: Michael Wood M.D.*

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