Vitamin D

Milk is Vitamin D-licious!

Vitamin D deficiency continues to be an issue of concern for many of today’s children. So much so the American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled its recommendation for infants, children and adolescents to 400 International Units (IU) per day. Its role in proper bone health is well known, but new research suggests it may support a healthy immune system, improve brain function, and may help prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Milk and dairy foods are some of the few food sources of vitamin D – in fact, it’s the leading source of vitamin D in the diet. Each 8-ounce serving of milk contains about 100 IU of vitamin D. The recommended three servings of low-fat and fat-free milk provide 75 percent of the daily value of vitamin D – along with eight other essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium and vitamin A, which are often in short supply.

Read more about vitamin D at The Dairy Report.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Doubles Vitamin D Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doubled the recommended amount of vitamin D for infants, children and adolescents from 200 IU a day to 400 units per day. The guidelines were revised based on new clinical trials and past recommendations that 400 IU of vitamin D per day can be safely given to children to prevent or treat rickets and may provide additional health benefits. According to the AAP report, children 1 year of age and older should consume vitamin D from vitamin D-fortified milk and other fortified foods and take a supplement if needed, under guidance by a pediatrician. Babies that are exclusively and partially breastfed are particularly at risk for vitamin D deficiency and should receive a vitamin D supplement until they begin drinking at least 32 ounces of formula a day.

Consuming three servings of vitamin D-fortified milk not only provides vitamin D but also many other nutrients that contribute to overall health and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Dairy foods are the main sources of calcium and vitamin D in the diets of Americans. Three 8-ounce glasses of low-fat or fat-free vitamin D-fortified milk or equivalent milk products daily, as recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for ages 9 years and older, provide 90 percent of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for calcium and 75 percent of the DV for vitamin D. (For additional recommendations on daily serving sizes of milk and milk products for all age groups, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid Web site. Additionally, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D as nutrients of concern for Americans, and recommends increasing intake of foods that provide them.  Milk is the number one source of calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

Institute of Medicine Releases Updated Recommendations for Calcium and Vitamin D

Citing a strong body of new scientific evidence, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) based revised recommendations for calcium and vitamin D on bone health outcomes, confirming the importance of these two nutrients in promoting bone growth and maintenance throughout the lifespan. While the calcium recommendations of 700 to 1300 milligrams (depending on bone health needs for age range and gender) are similar to previously recommended values, the recommendations for vitamin D increased significantly for all ages—600 international units (IU) for people between the ages of 1 – 70 years and 800 IU for those older than 70 years.  This is up from previous recommendations of 200-600 IU.  Milk is an efficient, affordable and available food source of these two important nutrients, and the Dietary Guidelines recommends three daily servings of nutrient-rich dairy foods to help meet nutrient intake goals.  To view the entire IOM report, click here.