AAP Vitamin D recommendation

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
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Registered: 04-07-2003
AAP Vitamin D recommendation
8
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 12:19pm
Hi, I posted this message on a different bulletin board, but I thought it would be a good debate topic here. The article link is http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/ap20030407_61.html

Lurker here, but just had to post on this issue!

This recommendation really concerns me. I'll use the text of the article to make my point:

article: "We really hope that this is a way to optimize the health of breast-fed infants and not in any way to discourage breast-feeding," Krebs said.

This probably *will* discourage breastfeeding. The way formula is pushed and breastfeeding's importance is diminished by the medical community and our society is often very subtle. This is a subtle implication that breastmilk is inferior. I can just imagine the jump in logic that is possible from this study: breastfeeding causes rickets.

article: The new recommendation, being published Monday in April's Pediatrics, was prompted by reports of dozens of cases of rickets nationwide in recent years...Although reports are rising, it's not clear if the actual incidence of rickets has risen since there are no national statistics on the ailment, said CDC epidemiologist Kelley Scanlon.

All this because of a few dozen cases and its actually not clear that the incidence of rickets has risen? Hmmmmm... seems to me like the American Academy of Pediatrics has more important issues to address like putting out publicity to actually encourage women to breastfeed their recommended "at least one year". Then they might actually help to save thousands (not dozens) of children from obesity, diabetes, allergies, asthma, cancer, SIDS... (and I could go on).

article: However, growing concerns about skin cancer and recommendations that youngsters wear sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure may be putting some children at risk for vitamin D deficiency and rickets, said Dr. Nancy Krebs, head of the academy's nutrition committee.

So maybe what should be recommended is that children should be exposed to a *healthy* amount of sunlight instead of Vitamin D supplements for every breastfed infant (to prevent a few dozen cases of rickets. Maybe a half an hour of sunlight at 5:00 would do? Did they study that possibility? It seems to me that every time we monkey with nature to fix something we need to recommend another fix to fix the first fix.

Danielle

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 12:34pm
LOL...ridiculous, IMO!!

(((sigh)))....here we go again with many parents following blindly the advice and recommendation of the AAP. Not that I discount what the AAP has to say, just that it is ONE opinion....of many.

Isn't the way to get proper vitamin D common sense?? Apparently I give parents way too much credit......or the AAP doesn't give enough.

Sunlight is the most efficient way to receive vitamin D. I also didn't think you needed to be in direct sunlight to receive vitamin d. Either way, putting sunblock on your child is what you can do...then have fun in the sun. This is a no-brainer to me. Oh yah, I remember the AAP advising against the use of sunblock under the age of 4months?? Or is it 2 months?? Either way.....the infant doesn't have to be in direct sunlight.


(((sigh)))

christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 3:10pm
I'm not a big fan of the AAP either. Sierra & I take at least a 20 minute walk everyday that the weather permits & her ped. said that was sufficient as far as Vitamin D goes. Sierra has only had BM or water to drink-no cow milk and her ped. wasn;t concerned at all at her 18 month check-up last week.

Janet & nursling Sierra

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 6:43pm
I think that the AAP & CDC are jumping the gun on this one. To quote the article: "Although reports are rising, it's not clear if the actual incidence of rickets has risen since there are no national statistics on the ailment, said CDC epidemiologist Kelley Scanlon."

How can you start making this recomendation until you know for CERTAIN that the cases of rickets is actually rising - and whether or not it is effecting babies who are bf.

I think the more logical recommendation would be to increase the amount of sunlight the baby is exposed to. And, incidently, from what I've read, sunlight through a window gives vitamin D as well - baby doesn't have to be outside to get the recommended vitamin D. I think a better bet than to recommend an automatic supplement of Vitamin D no matter what would be to test to see if there is a vitamin D deficiency to determine if baby needs the supplements. Our pediatrician does not generally recommend vitamin/iron supplements for his patients - unless it is determined to be necessary from routine blood tests. Even for my toddler & preschooler, the doesn't recommend they take daily vitamins unless I feel they are not eating a balanced diet (and he recommends looking at a child's diet over a week, not just day to day).

I do read what the AAP has to say - and some of their information is good. But, not everything is - they do tend to be on the conservative side...which, I guess I can understand. They want to err on the side of caution & cover their behinds. But, to me, this new recommendation should have waited until they had more conculsive evidence that supplements are needed. I can understand saying that dark skinned children and/or children who live in areas that don't see a lot of light at certain times of the year (Alaska, northern Canada) should have supplements because they wouldn't/don't get enough sunlight absorbed for them to get the daily requirement.

Even though they don't want to scare people away from Bf'ing with this information, it will. I can just see the formula companies taking off with this & touting the extra vitamin D they have added to the formula to prevent rickets. I wouldn't put it past them to say that bm doesn't have enough vit. D & using their brand of formula will give baby the vit. D they need, etc. Such a shame, especially after all the work that has been done to increase the bf'ing rates in the US.

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 10:19am
I think it is a big mistake, as well. I totally agree that they don't have conclusive evidence re: vitamin D and rickets and that it isn't a good idea because I think it will give some people a reason to quit BF.

Case in point: My Dad called me yesterday morning after seeing this subject on The Today Show. He says, "I saw this story on the Today Show and babies that are breastfed have a major, major deficiency of vitamin D and they need to be on supplements!!!".

So, of course, I tried to tell him that, no, they didn't have a "major, major" deficiency and that it was controversial....but he just thought I was getting defensive.

You see, people see stories like this and they don't look into, but just jump to conclusions. I think it's rather irresponsible of the AAP to be making this statement and potentially causing women to quit BF. So now we have a bigger problems- more babies without breastmilk. It's definitely upsetting to me.

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 10:41am
ah, but Lisa......can't the same be said for "these stories" regarding the *dangers* of formula?? Or are those stories all true and not sensationalized??


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 11:24am
Our staff of Pediatrians never worried about DS and his vitamin D and I NEVER go outside as far as "going out in the backyard". I do more w/a pool than I did before...but not during the baby years. I have really bad allergies....30min outdoors mean migraine style headaches, sneezing, coughing, throat itching for me. I've asked every question in the book and invented a few of my own to ask our pediatrician during visits and to call and ask them...this was NEVER a concern.

I don't think it should decrease bfing rates....but alas, I'm sure someone will use it.

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:10pm
You addressed your post to Lisa, but may I reply? The conclusions regarding the benefits of breastfeeding (or the dangers of formula feeding if you want to put it that way) were tested in many different studies over many years. Nobody was willing (or is willing) to admit the benefits until the science is incontovertable. For example it was "an old wives tale" for many years that breastfeeding decreased the incidence of allergies and asthma. The medical community wouldn't say conclusively because the science didn't prove it. Well, the scientific research in the last 5-10 years has been astounding and overwhelming. So much so, that the medical community can no longer deny the significant benefits. Now fast forward to this silly Vitamin D recommendation. The AAP itself admits that the science this recommendation is based on isn't even conclusive. Hmmmmmm.

Danielle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 8:39pm
Danielle,

ITA. Very well put.

Lisa