ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
Football Can Shrink Players
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Add your Article

Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D

Most infants in the United States aren't getting enough vitamin D and should be given supplements, a new federal government report shows.

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics raised the recommended daily requirement of vitamin D for infants from 200 International Units (IU) a day to 400 IU, the researchers noted. However, too few infants are getting these new levels.

"Vitamin D receptors are present in almost every type of cell in the body," said lead researcher Cria G. Perrine, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service in the Office of Workforce and Career Development, and Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.

Lack of vitamin D has been linked to many diseases including cancer, type 1 diabetes and respiratory problems, Perrine added.

Vitamin D is also essential for bone development, Perrine said. Although there is no national estimate, many kids are still getting rickets, which is a softening of the bones that can lead to fractures and deformities.

"Most infants, starting at birth, will need a vitamin D supplement," Perrine said.

To make sure your baby is getting enough vitamin D, Perrine said there are vitamin D drops and liquid multivitamins for infants. "Pretty much all the drops are single doses for 400 IUs," the researcher noted.

The report is published in the March 22 online edition of Pediatrics.

For the study, Perrine's team collected data on infants included in the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, which was done from 2005 to 2007. Using these data, the researchers estimated how many infants were getting the recommended levels of vitamin D. They estimated these levels for babies from 1 month to 10.5 months.

The researchers found that among infants who were exclusively breast-fed, only 5 percent to 13 percent, depending on age, were getting enough vitamin D. For infants who were breast-fed but also got formula, 28 percent to 35 percent were getting 200 IUs of vitamin D a day, but only 9 percent to 14 percent were getting 400 IUs a day.

For infants fed exclusively with formula, 81 percent to 98 percent were getting 200 IUs a day, but only 20 percent to 37 percent were getting the recommended 400 IUs.

"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," Perrine said.

Although they were getting enough formula to meet the 200 IU recommendation, most formula-fed infants won't get enough vitamin D to meet the 400 IU recommendation, Perrine noted.

In addition, the investigators found that only 1 percent to 13 percent of infants were being given a vitamin D supplement.

"Most infants need a vitamin D supplement, and we are not only talking about only breast-fed children," Perrine said.

Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, said that "low levels of vitamin D may not seem like a big deal but we are finding out it is. Research is suggesting that low vitamin D levels are linked to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, as well as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, mood dysregulation, muscle problems, certain cancers and more."

Heller added: "Sun exposure is one of the best ways to get vitamin D since it is not found in many foods. However, for people living in northern latitudes the sun is not strong enough to generate vitamin D production many months of the year. In addition, we encourage people to use sunscreen to protect against skin cancers, which also minimizes skin's ability to produce vitamin D."

Supplements are the next best option, Heller said. "Experts now recommend a minimum of 800 to 1,000 IU per day for adults and children year round. In July 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that infants who are exclusively or partially breast-fed receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily, beginning in the first few days of life," she said.

"This study suggests that parents are unaware of the need for vitamin D supplementation in infants and other studies show the same for older children. Health professionals need to get the word out to the public that infants, children, adolescents and adults need to get appropriate amounts of vitamin D all year," she added.

SOURCES: Cria G. Perrine, Ph.D., Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career Development, and Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, Fairfield, Conn.; March 22, 2010, Pediatrics, online