Tuesday 03 January 2017
INFANT researchers have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is low in Irish toddlers. In comparision with figures for Irish adults, a small percentage of two year olds are deficient.
However, the study shows that Vitamin D intake remains lower than international recommendations.
The average vitamin D intake was 3.5 µg per day. 96% of children were found to have a vitamin D intake of under 10 µg per day. This value of 10 µg per day is the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) proposed by the IOM in the United States and Canada. 10 µg per day is also the Safe Intake value proposed by SACN in the UK for children aged 1 to < 4 years. Children who did not consume food fortified with vitamin D or vitamin D supplements had the lowest intakes (~1 µg per day).
There was a high prevalence of low vitamin D status during the winter months (November-April), especially among children who did not consume vitamin D-fortified foods or nutritional supplements.
The study notes that dietary strategies are needed to increase the intake of Vitamin D for this age group. With this in mind, INFANT researchers suggest that advice on Vitamin D intake should be based on dose-response randomised control trials. These trials would help make dietary advice for toddlers more consistent.