For years, families have been aware of the importance of sufficient vitamin D consumption in developing healthy bones. Researchers have begun to realize that the benefits of vitamin D extend beyond just bone health. Vitamin D has been proven to be an important contributor to the health of the human immune system and may play a role in decreasing the risk of developing diabetes.
There are a number of sources of vitamin D in the diet. Milk is universally fortified with vitamin D and some yogurts are as well. Salmon, tuna, fortified whole grain cereals, and eggs are also excellent dietary sources. Direct sunlight helps the body to manufacture an active form of vitamin D as well. Finally, you can obtain vitamin D as a vitamin supplement. Infants require 400 IU (international units) while children require 600 IU. Infants who are exclusively breastfed require this vitamin supplement but toddlers and older kids typically can obtain an adequate amount through diet and sun exposure. At Premier, we test for vitamin D levels at 10 years. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. I am including a link to a nice JAMA primer on vitamin D here. (bit.ly/2JwqcO8)