Friday, October 17, 2008

American Academy of Pediatrics increases vitamin D recommendations

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press release regarding a new clinical report titled "Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants, Children, and Adolescents." In this new report, the AAP has updated the amount of vitamin D they formally recommend for children from 200 IU per day to 400 IU per day.
"We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits," said Frank Greer, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and co-author of the report. "Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone."
This updated recommendation is largely based on data from clinical trials performed since 2003 (when the original recommendation of 200 IU per day was given). This new data has demonstrated not only a wide safety margin for vitamin D supplementation, but also a surprising occurrence of vitamin D deficiency, particularly in exclusively breastfed infants who are not supplemented with vitamin D.
"Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants. However, because of vitamin D deficiencies in the maternal diet, which affect the vitamin D in a mother's milk, it is important that breastfed infants receive supplements of vitamin D," said Carol Wagner, MD, FAAP, member of the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Executive Committee and co-author of the report. "Until it is determined what the vitamin D requirements of the lactating mother-infant dyad are, we must ensure that the breastfeeding infant receives an adequate supply of vitamin D through a supplement of 400 IU per day."
Quotations taken from the formal AAP press release available at

To review the new clinical report in its entirety, please visit