What Affects How Much Vitamin D your Child Gets?
You know that children need to get vitamin D just like adults do for strong bones and immune system, but today’s kids often don’t get outside in the sunshine enough.
A new study from Montreal’s McGill University conducted the first vitamin D supplement research specific to children. The researchers say that evidence has been unclear about the effects of children taking vitamin D in supplements and fortified foods. They wanted to find out if certain kids absorb vitamin D that’s not from the sun better than others.
They completed 29 trials with 4,972 children from aged 2 to 18 years. Ten studies used fortified foods and 17 used dietary supplements. The children took the same form of vitamin D (25-hydroxy) in amounts from 2.5 micrograms to 100 micrograms over a period of 4 weeks up to 2 years.
The researchers found that the kids’ bodies absorbed the vitamin the same no matter what age or sex they were or where they lived (even at latitudes that didn’t get much sunlight). But the amount of the vitamin they absorbed did differ depending on how deficient they were at the beginning of the study (higher absorption if they had a greater deficiency), and in what form they took the vitamin D.
Those taking fortified foods absorbed it slightly more than from supplements. This may be because tablets are less absorbable than liquid or powdered vitamins that are used in fortified foods and food-form vitamin D. (Neil Brett, Hope Weiler “Vitamin D intake and status in children: a meta-analysis”, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec. Funding: Canada Research Chairs http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/apnm-2017-0134)