Are your kids
getting sick too often?
Week 5: The Truth
About Vitamin D

Apparently every man and his dog need more Vitamin D. Is this true?

I was skeptical when GPs first started diagnosing almost everyone with a Vitamin D deficiency several years ago. However, research article after research article concludes that, compared to the group with lower Vitamin D, the group that has higher Vitamin D fares better in terms of a whole host of conditions from breast tumours and cancers, to glucose metabolism, autoimmune diseases and common infections. And by better, I mean the high Vitamin D group gets a lot less of these things.

Facts about Vitamin D and children

When it comes to kids getting common colds and respiratory infections here are some significant facts:

  • A strong association has been found between Vitamin D deficiency and respiratory infections in infants and children(5).
  • The link with Vitamin D deficiency appears not to be limited to mild respiratory infections. Children with a low vitamin D intake were more than 4 times more likely to have an acute lower respiratory infection, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia, than those with a high vitamin D intake (7).
  • Low vitamin D is common in children.
  • Lower vitamin D levels have been associated with higher risks for asthma flare-ups(8).

Considering that respiratory illnesses are the most common reason for GP visits in Australia, accounting for approximately 1 in every 7 consultations(6), increasing our vitamin D levels is a straightforward and safe way to target immune health.

Children with a low vitamin D intake were more than 4 times more likely to have an infection such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia

Who should take it?

Consider extra daily Vitamin D for children who are often getting colds or other respiratory infections.

What can I do?

Daily sunlight on our skin, without reddening or burning of course, is an accessible (and free!) means of acquiring vitamin D. Additional dietary sources of Vitamin D include egg yolks, salmon and cod liver oil.

These days most people in our community are concerned about damage from the sun. Vitamin D in supplement form is a simple way to increase your vitamin D without the sun exposure. I prefer to use preservative-free liquid supplements and have found this has boosted my own defences against colds and common infections.

I also allow my own children to have moderate doses of sun with lots of skin exposure. Yes, fun in the sun for every man and his dog!


Thank you for following my series: Are Your Kids Getting Sick Too Often?

Week 1: Probiotics
Week 2: Prebiotics
Week 3: Fast Medicine
Week 4: My Favourite Immune Herbs for Kids
Week 5: The Truth About Vitamin D

Remember to like my Facebook page, to stay up to day with natural health perspectives for you and your family.


Larn Lau Bland is an independent Naturopath, and is not paid to endorse any brand or product. Larn’s practice, Natural Balance, is located Melbourne, Australia.

Header photo by Albert Comper Photography.


References:

  1. Leyer, G.J., et al., ‘Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children’. Pediatrics, 2009. 124: p. e172-e179.
  2. Salminen, S., S. Nybom, et al. (2010). ‘Interaction of probiotics and pathogens — benefits to human health?’ Current Opinion in Biotechnology 21(2): 157–167.
  3. Saveedra et al., ‘Human Studies with probiotics and prebiotics: Clinical Implications’, Br J Nutr, 2002 May; 87 Suppl 2:S241–6.
  4. McIntyre, A., Herbal Treatment of Children, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann, Philadelphia, USA, 2005, p31.
  5. Mourani, P.M. et al., ‘The Role of Vitamin D in Prevention and Treatment of Infection’. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2013 Jul 11; 12(4): 239–245.
  6. The Australian Lung Foundation Report, Edition 1, 2007 http://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2007-RID-Case-Statement.pdf
  7. Karen S Leis,J Dayre McNally,Matthew R Montgomery et al. ‘Vitamin D intake in young children with acute lower respiratory infection’. CJContemporaryPediatrics, 2012, 14(1): 1–6.
  8. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Jun;9(3):202–7
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