Skip to content

Children's Health

Kids May Need 10 Times More Vitamin D

Study: Kids Need 2,000 IU of Vitamin D, Not 200 IU Now Recommended
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 28, 2008 -- Children and teens need 10 times more than the recommended dose of vitamin D, a clinical trial suggests.

"Our research reveals that vitamin D, at doses equivalent to 2,000 IU a day, is not only safe for adolescents, but it is actually necessary for achieving desirable vitamin D levels," study leader Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, MD, of the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon, says in a news release.

Kids are advised to get a daily vitamin D dose of 200 IU. That suggestion came from an Institute of Medicine panel that based its recommendation on the amount of vitamin D needed to prevent rickets in infants.

However, more and more vitamin D experts have begun to suggest that children and adults need much more vitamin D than previously recognized.

New evidence strongly supports this opinion. El-Hajj Fuleihan and colleagues enrolled 340 schoolchildren in a one-year study. These 10- to 17-year-old kids attended schools in Beirut, Lebanon.

A third of the kids received an inactive, sham treatment. Another third got the recommended 200 IU/day dose of vitamin D3 (as a weekly dose of 1,400 IU). And, after an earlier safety study showed it would not be toxic, the remaining third of the kids got 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 (as a weekly dose of 14,000 IU) -- 10 times the recommended dose for adequate daily intake.

After a year of treatment, vitamin D levels went up slightly in the placebo group, and went up slightly more in the normal-dose vitamin D group -- to 16 ng/mL for girls and to 20 ng/mL for boys. That's well below the 30 ng/mL level the U.S. National Institutes of Health states may be desirable for overall health and disease prevention.

But kids who got 2,000 IU/day vitamin D3 saw their vitamin D levels soar -- to 38 ng/mL for girls and to 35 ng/mL for boys. None of the kids showed signs of vitamin D toxicity.

"Supplementation of children and adolescents with 2,000 IU a day of vitamin D3 is well tolerated and safe," El-Hajj Fuleihan says. "This is particularly relevant in light of the increasingly recognized health benefits of vitamin D for adults and children."

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool