deficiency of vitamin D in breast milk can be corrected by the mother supplementing adequate vitamin D

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food for infants. Except one thing. For some reason, it is insufficient in vitamin D. So, what do you do? Simple!

It is odd that nature would allow us to evolve with inadequate levels of vitamin D in the only food infants are supposed to get. It probably didn’t. Low levels in breast milk are more likely due to outdated information on sun exposure and poor diet. But either way, your baby’s deficiency needs to be corrected. But how?

The conventional advice has been to supplement infants with 400IU of vitamin D. But there are a number of problems with that recommendation, not least of which is that no one follows it. Only between 2% and 19% of parents supplement their infant’s with vitamin D. There has to be a better way.

There is. When breast feeding mothers take 6400IU of vitamin D a day, vitamin D levels in their babies go up as efficiently as when the baby takes 400IU a day. As a bonus, the mothers who took the vitamin D also increased their own vitamin D to adequate levels.

Consistent with recent research, the 6400IU dose was entirely safe: there were no adverse events.

This study shows that it is not true that mother’s milk has to be deficient in vitamin D. Mothers simply have to have enough vitamin D. One way to accomplish the increase in the amount of a mother’s vitamin D is for her to get more sun exposure. The other is to take more vitamin D. Current recommendations regarding how much vitamin D breast feeding women should supplement have been too stingy. This important study corrects the miserly doling out of vitamin D and suggests that breast feeding women should supplement 6400IU a day.

Pediatrics October 2015;136(4):625-634


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