Preventing Vitamin D Deficiency in Children: Importance and Solutions

2023-08-16 17:04:41

Sufficient vitamin D is extremely important, especially for babies and toddlers. But why actually, and what can be done against vitamin D deficiency in children?

Vitamin D is not called the “sun vitamin” for nothing. Because the body can produce it itself with the help of UV solar radiation. This is not without problems, especially for young children. After all, the youngest in particular come into much less contact with the sun than young people and adults, for example. But why is vitamin D so important for young children and what can be done to counteract vitamin D deficiency in children?

What is vitamin D?

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), vitamin D is the superordinate term for a group of fat-soluble vitamins, so-called calciferols. Due to recent scientific findings, vitamin D is now one of the steroid hormones, like the page Pediatricians online writes. The most important forms of the vitamin D hormone include vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).

Vitamin D is mainly produced in the body, i.e. 80 to 90 percent, with the help of UV solar radiation. A significantly smaller part of the vitamin is supplied to the body through proper nutrition. So if the skin comes into contact with enough sun, the body forms vitamin D and supplies it to the intestines, the bone structure or the muscles. But what functions does it fulfill there?

What functions does vitamin D have?

According to the RKI, vitamin D is essential for healthy bone formation and bone maintenance. But many metabolic processes in the human organism also need the sun hormone, such as the muscles and the immune system. It is just as important for tooth formation and the nerve cells of the brain. In addition, vitamin D is said to have a protective function against cardiovascular diseases such as blood pressure and cancer.

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Why is vitamin D so important for children?

Vitamin D fulfills a vital function in the body for all people. But it is precisely the little ones among us who need it the most. After all, the foundation of the bone structure and muscles is laid in the first few years. More precisely: Vitamin D ensures that enough calcium and phosphate is built into the bones, strengthening and strengthening them.

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A vitamin D deficiency, on the other hand, can lead to growth difficulties and bone diseases such as rickets, with far-reaching consequences for the child’s later life. The problem: Small children are not usually exposed to the sun as often because their skin is very sensitive. The body’s own production of vitamin D can therefore not take place. According to the pharmacy magazine vitamin D is therefore recommended as a necessary rickets prophylaxis.

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Vitamin D for children as a dietary supplement

Since nutrition only contributes a small part to the body’s vitamin D production, parents should therefore cover their babies’ vitamin D requirements with dietary supplements.

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Die German Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ) recommends For example, infants receive a daily dose of one vitamin D tablet of 10-12.5 micrograms (the unit of measurement is µg), from the end of the first week of life until the end of the first year of life. The prophylaxis can also be noisy be continued in the winter months in the second year of life.

The pediatrician can determine whether there is a vitamin D deficiency by examining the blood.

You can read an overview of all the important vitamins – from A to B12, C to K – their benefits and the symptoms of deficiency symptoms here.

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