American Children Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
While there science is still learning about all of the benefits of Vitamin D, it has been shown to have important health benefits including reducing the risk of serious diseases like Parkinson Disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer. But the current research does show that Vitamin D is clearly an important nutrient for children as well as adults.
The good news is that children can get a portion of their vitamin D just by spending time in the sun. Exposure to the “ultraviolet B” radiation found in sunlight causes the body to produce vitamin D3.
The bad news is that many American children are not spending the time outdoors they need to in order to enjoy this benefit. This is another example of the negative effect television and computer games are having on the health of our children. In addition, sunscreen reduces the amount of ultraviolet B radiation children are exposed to, thus reducing the vitamin D benefit.
Estimates from a recent study “suggest that most American children may not be going outside enough to meet their minimal (~ 600 IU/day) or optimal (≥ 1,200 IU/day) vitamin D requirements.”
It is important that children have regular time in the sun, particularly during colder months. Depending on where you live and your children’s schedule, that may not always be possible.
If you are concerned that your children aren’t getting the vitamin D you should talk to your doctor of chiropractic about vitamin D supplements. This can make a significant difference in their current health and as they get older.