Do Babies and Children Need Vitamin D Supplements?

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the most important hormones that all people, from babies to adults, need for healthy growth and development and healthy bone structure.

Vitamin D affects bone metabolism by increasing the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines. The main function of vitamin D in children is to ensure the formation of growing bone tissue, and in adults to provide bone regeneration and to provide calcium and phosphorus levels necessary for mineralization.

Is Vitamin D Supplement Necessary? To Whom Should It Be Given?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get enough vitamin D from food alone. That’s why; Vitamin D supplementation is very necessary, especially in newborns, infants and risky people.

Who Should Take Vitamin D Supplements:

• Children between 0-24 months

• Adolescents (The name given to the 10-19 age group according to the World Health Organization. Adolescents))

• Women of childbearing age

• Pregnant and lactating women

• the elderly

What Natural Sources Are Vitamin D Found in?

Both plants and animals have the ability to synthesize vitamin D with sunlight. In the human body, vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin with the effect of sunlight. Therefore, it is recommended that especially pregnant women, nursing mothers, babies and the elderly should be exposed to sunlight for a while every day if possible. But of course, we do not mean a summer day and the hours when the sun is directly overhead.

Sources of Vitamin D;

The most important source of vitamin D is sunlight. Almost 95% of the need for vitamin D, which is necessary for the body, is met by being synthesized in the skin thanks to the ultraviolet rays found in the sun. The remaining 5% is taken with food.

Animal sources:

• We recommend fish varieties rich in oil, especially salmon, mackerel and tuna. It should not be forgotten that not all fish are beneficial to the human body. For example, some deep-water fish may be particularly harmful to infants because of the heavy metals they are exposed to.

• Milk and dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, etc.)

•Egg

• Liver (especially veal, lamb and chicken)

Herbal sources:

• Natural juices such as orange juice

•Grain products

•Dead nettle

•Parsley

•Mushroom

How much vitamin D do babies need?

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The need for vitamin D in infants begins with birth, and vitamin D supplementation is required until at least 1 year of age. Babies need 400/IU daily until 1 year old. We start vitamin D supplementation as soon as the baby is born, even if it is 15 days old, we do not say that we should start using it after that. When your baby turns 1 year old, if you are in the winter season, we recommend that you reduce the amount and use it for a while until the summer season. In summer, you can already meet this need with sunlight.

Between the ages of 1 and 5, your child’s need for vitamin D increases to approximately 600/IU. If you use fish oil daily, you will get an average of 200/IU of vitamin D from fish oils. In this case, you can continue to use 400/IU instead of 600/IU. You can continue to use it at this rate until your child is 5 years old. Let’s repeat to remind you. We make the vitamin D supplement in the winter and leave it in the summer.

Click here to read our article about “When Should Babies Be Given Water for the First Time?”

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