A recent article that one of my readers brought to my attention looked at vitamin D levels in infants who were fully breast-fed and who took oral vitamin D supplements.
Other studies have shown that nursing mothers do not give their infants sufficient vitamin D. I've written about that as well previously.
In this nice article by my colleague Bruce Hollis and associates, the authors looked at vitamin D levels in newborn infants. At the beginning of the study the average infant at one month of age had vitamin D blood level of 16 ng/mL. This is obviously low as less than 15 would be equivalent to rickets in the child.
They then proceeded to give the children 400 units of vitamin D3 per day and followed them over the ensuing months. By four months, the average level of vitamin D in the children had gone up to 43.6 ng/mL. They retested the children at 7 months and found the levels to be steady at about the same level.
This article again confirms that newborns should be given 400 units of vitamin D3 from the first day they are born. We know from many other studies that breast-feeding does not provide sufficient vitamin D for children to get a proper blood level. In addition, most pregnant women and therefore most nursing women are deficient in vitamin D themselves.
If you have friends who are nursing mothers be sure to tell them to give their infants 400 IU vitamin D every day.
I regard this as an extremely valuable study. Very few mothers with newborns would like their child to have blood tests every few months just to check vitamin D levels. The value of this study shows us what to expect when giving our newborns 400 IU per day. It tells us both that 400IU is safe and secondly that 400IU does bring the child to a normal blood level of vitamin D.