A recent study conducted by teams in New York and South Carolina, under the leadership of professors Carol Wagner and Bruce Hollis, women who are breastfeeding their babies need at least 6,400 IU of vitamin D every day in order to be able to properly maintain recommended vitamin D levels in their infants.
The results of the study were published in the Pediatrics journal(i). The randomized trial that ran in multiple locations determined that daily maternal vitamin D supplementation at that level was necessary to ensure that a nursing baby would receive enough vitamin D from his or her mother. What is fascinating about that measurement is that the current recommendation that has been issued by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is that mothers supplement their vitamin D levels by a daily 400 IU.
Initially, the researchers asked lactating mothers to take a daily 2,400 IU of vitamin D. However as the study went on, regular testing showed that there were so many infants within that group that were below the 20 ng/ml target of 25(OH)D that the ethics committee determined that this dose should be halted.
That said, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers of breastfeeding infants should take 6,400 IU per day in order to eliminate the infant’s need to supplement vitamin D. Interestingly, when the mothers took 6,400 IU per day, provided the same benefit to the baby as if the infant were supplemented with 400 IU per day.
The primary advantage of having the mother take the supplements as opposed to providing them directly to the baby is that it makes certain that both people will be obtaining adequate amounts.
- (i) Maternal Versus Infant Vitamin D Supplementation During Lactation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26416936
Please visit this article to learn more about Vitamin D deficiency and what you can do about it.