Vitamin D in Children

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

About 70 percent of children in this country have low levels of vitamin D, which puts them at higher risk for bone and heart disease, Dr. Edward Hill discusses a childrens vitamin D needs in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Seven out of 10 children in the United States have low vitamin D levels, putting them at risk of heart disease, rickets and weak bones.

A study found that more than 7 million American children are actually deficient in vitamin D. Low vitamin D is risky, but vitamin D deficiency is a serious health threat. Rickets, a bone disease of infants caused by too little vitamin D, has been on the rise.

People get vitamin D from foods like milk and fish, but its hard to get enough from diet alone. The body makes its own vitamin D, but only when a person gets at least 10 minutes of direct sunshine a day, before putting on sunscreen.

Most people need regular vitamin D supplements. The study found that children who took vitamin D supplements were least likely to have low vitamin D levels. But only 4 percent of kids get these supplements.

Experts say that 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight a day should be enough to get the vitamin D that children need.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.