Do your kids need more vitamin D? If they do, there may be several ways to boost their levels, according to a study in Finnish children aged six to eight. The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition and was selected as the “Nutrition Society Paper of the Month” for January 2016. According to the research, the children’s serum (blood) vitamin D levels were raised in three ways.
- Eating fortified dairy products. Consuming sufficient amounts of fortified dairy products was significantly important for the children’s serum vitamin D levels: kids who drank at least three glasses of milk per day had higher serum vitamin D levels than kids who drank less milk.
- Taking vitamin D supplements. In girls, taking vitamin D supplements was associated with higher serum vitamin D levels.
- Exercising for more than two hours each day. Children who exercised more than 2 hours per day had higher serum vitamin D levels than children who exercised less than 1.5 hours per day.
In the study, few children had severely low serum vitamin D levels, but 20% of them had serum vitamin D levels lower than 50 nmol/l, which is considered by some experts to be insufficient. Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D has been associated in some research with better bone health, and there is some evidence that higher levels may also be linked to a lower risk of certain chronic diseases.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition