Vitamin D Deficiency
By: Wendy Ray
You've heard before why it's important for your child to get outside and be active
, but you may be surprised what some doctors now say about what else may be missing from your child's routine. New research suggests that as many as 20-percent of healthy kids have a vitamin-D deficiency. Despite the numbers, one heartland doctor says not enough vitamin D is a bigger problem for a younger age group.
You'll find vitamin D in milk and several foods, but the biggest source could be as easy as walking outside. "The main source of vitamin D is the ultraviolet light of sun or other sources that will convert vitamin D through a complicated process that starts on the skin," Southeast Pediatric Hospitalist Dr. Suha Alkadry says.
But researchers out of Boston University say teens aren't getting outside enough, which means they're not getting enough vitamin D. They found many kids prefer staying indoors playing video games and many choose soda over milk. Some researchers believe up to 30 percent of adolescents nationwide may have a vitamin D deficiency which can lead to brittle bones in adulthood. But Dr. Alkadry says she doesn't see the problem in teens, but in some infants and young toddlers. She adds that getting enough vitamin D is important for all young people. "It helps mineralizes bones, it's important for growth and being able to develop normally and not have any problems," she says. Some research shows extreme deficiencies may be linked to some cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure.