The majority of United States infants are not receiving the recommended amount of vitamin D and should be given supplements, a new federal study has concluded.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics raised the recommended daily standard of vitamin D for infants in 2008, a shockingly low number meet the 400 IU per day requirement for optimum health.
In the study, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service collected data on infants who were younger than 10.5 months. They found that among infants who were exclusively breastfed, only 5 to 13 percent received the recommended amount of the nutrient.
For babies who were breastfed and who were also given formula, a total of 35 percent were getting enough vitamin D.
“In the past, it was assumed that children receiving formula didn’t need a vitamin D supplement, because they were getting it from the formula,” said lead researcher Cria Perrine.
However, in light of the new findings, “most infants, starting at birth, will need a vitamin D supplement,” she added.
The researchers also recommended that expectant mothers take prenatal vitamins and other approved natural supplements.