The Effects Of Vitamin D And Its Effects On Children

2309 Words Sep 16th, 2016 10 Pages
traviolet (UV) rays from sunlight to activate it.
Breastmilk contains a small amount of vitamin D but that is not adequate for proper infant development; therefore, exclusively breastfed infants should receive a supplement of vitamin D shortly after birth.17 The current American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for vitamin D intake is 400 IU per day for all infants, children, and adolescents, beginning the first few days after birth.18
Deficiency of vitamin D is known as rickets and can have severe and lasting effects on children as they grow. Inadequate intake of vitamin D also decreases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, causing improper mineralization of bones and teeth and resulting in swelled joints, bowed legs, and poor growth during childhood. (See Figure 6.9.)

A full-term infant is born with iron stores that reflect the mother’s iron levels. If the mother consumes an iron-rich diet during pregnancy, the fetus builds iron stores to last the first 4–6 months of life. By 6 months, a breastfed infant needs an additional iron source, at which time, iron-fortified infant cereals can meet this need. The AAP recommends iron-fortified formula for all formula-fed babies. Preterm infants have lower iron stores at birth that are depleted around 2–3 months of age.19 Human milk is a source of iron, and compared with infant formula, a higher percentage of the iron in breastmilk is absorbed: 50% of the iron in breastmilk is absorbed, whereas only…

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