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Vitamin D Supplementation for Infants

3/22/2010  

Breastfeeding is the ideal form of infant feeding, but supplementation with Vitamin D, starting soon after birth, is recommended because breastfed infants generally do not obtain adequate Vitamin D from other sources.

The study, “Adherence to Vitamin D Recommendations Among U.S. Infants,” published in the April issue of Pediatrics (released online March 22), examined data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II conducted from 2005 to 2007. Approximately half of the infants who were breastfed, formula-fed, or mixed fed met the 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation of 200 IU of vitamin D per day, but fewer than one-quarter would have met the current, 2008 AAP recommendation of 400 IU per day. While formula-fed infants receive Vitamin D supplementation from the formula, study authors found that the amount consumed may not be adequate to meet the 2008 AAP recommendation.

Pediatricians should encourage parents of infants who are either breastfed or consuming less than 1 liter (just under 1 quart, or 33.8 ounces) of infant formula per day to give their infants an oral Vitamin D supplement to meet the current AAP recommendation.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.