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Most U.S. Infants Not Getting Enough Daily Vitamin D

Researchers urge pediatricians to encourage vitamin D supplementation in many cases

TUESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Whether fed on breast milk or formula, most U.S. infants do not receive the daily intake of vitamin D recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), according to research published online March 22 in Pediatrics.

Cria G. Perrine, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2005 to 2007 Infant Feeding Practices Study II to estimate the percentage of infants in the cohort (which ranged from 1,633 to 1,952 infants) who met either the AAP's 2008 400 IU/day vitamin D recommendation or its 2003 recommendation of 200 IU/day at ages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.5, 9, and 10.5 months.

Among the infants fed only on breast milk, the researchers found that just 5 to 13 percent met either the AAP's 2008 or 2003 recommendations. Among infants fed only on formula, 20 to 37 percent met the 2008 recommendation, while 81 to 98 percent met the 2003 recommendation. Among infants consuming both breast milk and formula, 9 to 14 percent met the 2008 recommendation, while 28 to 35 percent met the 2003 recommendation.

"Our findings suggest that most U.S. infants are not consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D according to the 2008 AAP recommendation. Pediatricians and health care providers should encourage parents of infants who are either breast-fed or consuming less than 1 L/day of infant formula to give their infants an oral vitamin D supplement," the authors write.

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