The benefits and recommended use of Vitamin D

Alan Greene, MD, shares advice for parents on the benefits that Vitamin D has for kids, and when the best time is to start giving Vitamin D supplements to children
The Benefits And Recommended Use Of Vitamin D For Kids
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The benefits and recommended use of Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is essential for good health. We used to get lots of Vitamin D from the sun. And that is fabulous. That is the way we're designed to get it. But you get it when you're outdoors between about 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Kids used to spend most of the day outdoors. Now, estimates are as high as 93% of childhood is lived indoors. So we're missing out on the sun. And when they do go outdoors, we slather them from sunscreen to help protect them from melanoma and cancers because those are on the rise. And that blocks vitamin D formation. So unless kids are getting time outdoors, they're probably not getting enough vitamin D. Even breastfed babies - breast milk does not have much vitamin D in there because kids were designed to get it elsewhere. So I do recommend vitamin D starting very early in life for breastfed babies and then for anybody who's not getting it through their diet, take a supplement. You've got to get it from either your diet or the sun. Besides the benefits of helping bones and teeth, which people know about, it lowers the risk of a lot of other conditions, things like asthma and diabetes, even the common cold. There was a study that in vitamin D versus placebo given to the same school kids and they were mixed through the same classrooms. And the ones who got vitamin D were far less likely to get respiratory infections during the year. If they did get respiratory infections they lasted about half as long. And they were far less likely to get fevers or be prescribed antibiotics. It's a simple, wonderful, safe thing to do for your family.

Alan Greene, MD, shares advice for parents on the benefits that Vitamin D has for kids, and when the best time is to start giving Vitamin D supplements to children

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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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