Vitamin D–Watch this Our for the Babies!

Breast milk can provide the best nutrients for the baby to prevent infections and cut the risk of future chronic diseases, like diabetes and obesity. However, due to the lack of exposure to sunlight and the nature of vitamin D concentration in human milk, children in exclusive breastfeeding have a higher possibility of being vitamin D deficiency.

Human gets vitamin D from sunlight and food. Vitamin D is vital for infants especially in the process of fast bone growth. Sufficient amount of vitamin D in blood helps the body absorb and use calcium from food, which builds up the bones. Though rare in US, children in severe deficient of vitamin D may develop rickets, in which children get soften bone and skeletal misshape such as bowed legs.

Due to the northern latitude of New England, our exposure to sunlight is limited, especially in winter when the day time is short. Even for those in lower latitude, if you don’t usually bring your baby outside, he or she still can’t get the vitamin D from sunlight. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends a daily intake of vitamin D of 400 IU/day for all infants. Since human milk’s concentration of vitamin D is less than 25 IU per liter, so infants who are exclusively breastfed need to get the compensation from vitamin D supplement drop.

Take home messages for parents and caregivers:

1.      If your baby is exclusively breastfed, make sure he or she gets vitamin D from supplement;

2.      Go outside with your baby to get some sunlight and touch the nature;

3.      Both parents and babies need vitamin D to keep healthy!

Who Brought Us Cow Milk?

I have been thinking and googling for a couple of days on a couple of questions:

        Who was the first guy drank cow milk? When did that happen? What was the driven force?

The answer is: no one knows that so far! But whatever, I like to give my great honor to the cow milk discover man. He or she found an excellent, or to some point can’t be replaced, source of calcium and vitamin D for modern diet. There is no doubt that human civilization took place with dramatic changes of large discoveries, and with all the great changes human become more and more intelligent (to some extent we are over clear).

I have an imaginary scenario in my mind: before human began drinking cow milk, we depended on other foods (meat, veggies, grains), which can provide enough protein, fat, and sugar for our metabolic functions. Our ancestors might not get much vitamin D from the diet, but their bone were prone to be stronger–because they had a more active lifestyle with more sunlight exposure. Sunlight gave them the most vitamin D.

Well, some people have the idea that what their grandparent ate might be better than today’s common diet–since they can live healthily , we don’t need changes. Since human didn’t live with cow milk form the start, can our population live without cow milk now? Nope, unfortunately–since our life style had dramatic changes, we sit longer, we play less, we drive more, we walk less, we stay indoor more, we get less sunshine. Our bone and thus the whole body skeleton need the compensation from food.

Let’s drink the milk, exercise more, and go outside! Getting stronger bone helps you to enjoy your life–to be continue…

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