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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Vitamin D in babies and children

item Abrams, Steven
item Gordon, Catherine
item Carpenter, Thomas

Submitted to: American Academy of Pediatrics
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2012
Publication Date: 1/3/2013
Citation: Abrams, S.A., Gordon, C.M., Carpenter, T.O. 2013. Vitamin D in babies and children. PREP AUDIO [serial on CD-ROM]. 8:2.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We're going to discuss vitamin D in infants and children. We'd like to give people some familiarity with the number of different sets of guidelines for what vitamin D intakes and status should be in infants and children, what some of the uncertainties and controversies are, and what the new research and new ideas are about the importance of vitamin D in children. When we talk about vitamin D intake, the guidelines come from the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others. The Institute of Medicine has something called the Estimated Average Requirement, or the EAR, and that's the amount of any nutrient that would meet the needs of half all children. They have the better known value, called the Recommended Dietary Allowance, which meets the needs of almost all individuals in an age and gender group, or 97.5% of the requirements. And they have a value called the Upper Level, or UL, which is the maximum amount that's recognized as being a safe intake. When the Institute of Medicine looked at vitamin D in the year 2000, they came up with a series of guidelines. For infants, they basically kept with a well-established value of 400 units per day as the amount of vitamin D that was appropriate for infants throughout the first year of life. For older children and adolescents, they set a value of 600 units per day. It's important to recognize that these values were established for healthy children and were not necessarily designed to treat children with diseases such as rickets. Other groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), often focus on a single number. The AAP set a number of 400 units per day as a general value that children need.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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