A unique vitamin D dosage for children

Vitamin D intake is essential for the proper functioning of the body and is subject to certain rules to avoid the risk of deficiency or overdose. Recently, the recommendations of dosage in Vitamin D made for children have been updated. The aim is to simplify prescriptions and align them with European recommendations.

The right vitamin D dosage is essential

Vitamin D plays an important role in the quality of bone and muscle tissue, but also in strengthening the immune system. However, the majority of the French do not consume enough. Elderly people, newborns and infants, and pregnant women are particularly at risk. It is therefore of crucial importance, especially for these population groups, to ensure a balanced intake of vitamin D.

Risks of vitamin D deficiency or overdose

The main function of vitamin D is to increase the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. In case of a deficiency it is possible to observe:

  • muscle disorders characterized by decreased muscle tone, tetany attacks or seizures;
  • Bone disorders leading to rickets or a decrease in bone mass in the youngest, associated with an increased risk of fractures.

Also a Vitamin D overdose can be responsible for hypercalcemia, i.e. too high a concentration of calcium in the blood. This causes heart and kidney problems, but also nausea, vomiting, weight loss and severe fatigue. In a report, ANSES warns against the consumption of dietary supplements rich in vitamin D. They could actually cause more overdoses than drugs.

Where is vitamin D found?

Adequate intake of vitamin D can be ensured through sun exposure (15 to 20 minutes daily) and diet. In fact, fish and dairy are two essential sources of vitamin D. However, additional intake may be required for populations at risk of deficiency. If this is the case, this is done via a doctor’s prescription and is checked regularly.

A single dose for 0-18 year olds

To avoid the risk of vitamin D deficiency or overdose in children, the recommendations have recently been updated by the French Association of Ambulatory Paediatrics (AFPA). This update responds to the desire for simplification and alignment with European recommendations.

So the same dosage in Vitamin D is recommended for 0-18 year olds. It varies between 400 and 800 IU/day. There is no longer any difference between children who take breast milk or not.

However, four factors increase the risk poor dosage in Vitamin D Were highlighted:

  • Obesity;
  • The lack of sun exposure;
  • Dark skin;
  • A vegan diet.

So if one or more of these risk factors are present and the child is between 2 and 18 years old, the recommendations are 800 to 1600 IU of vitamin D per day.

Alexia F., Doctor of Neuroscience

Sources

– Vitamin D intake new recommendations. afpa.org. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
– Vitamin D: Why and how to ensure an adequate supply? anses.fr. Retrieved June 21, 2022.

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