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Persistent Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Breastfed Infants, Hong Kong Study Reveals


Exclusively breastfed infants in Hong Kong have a tendency to suffer from persistent vitamin D deficiency, necessitating urgent policy intervention to address the issue, say local researchers.

[Image source: Adobe Stock]


Norwegian research shows that by three months of age, over one-third of infants have inadequate levels of vitamin D. The benefits of ensuring optimum levels go far beyond better physical health, however, as a recent study found that a higher intake of vitamin D during infancy is linked to a lower risk of mental health problems at school age.

Published in JAMA Network Open by researchers from Tampere University in Finland, the study compares the impact of a standard 400 IU supplementary dose of vitamin D3 on mental health with a triple dose of 1200 IU. A total of 169 infants received the lower dose, while 177 were given the higher dose. The infants received their vitamin D3 daily from the age of two weeks until they were 2 years old.

When the children reached 6 to 8 years of age their psychiatric symptoms were assessed by their parents using a questionnaire. The results revealed that, compared to children given the standard dose, those receiving the higher intake of vitamin D3 had fewer reported symptoms of depressed mood, anxiety, and withdrawn behavior.

To learn how vitamin D3 supplements have been shown to improve blood pressure and insulin sensitivity in children, see this article on our website.