Vitamin D=The He-Man of Supplementation (Kids Still Watch He-Man, Right?)

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I know, I know, I must sound like a broken record with the vitamin D talk yet again. But I thought I would pass this along to all of you because I thought it was interesting.

From Reuters Health:

Giving school children very high doses of vitamin D is safe, and may be necessary to bring their blood levels of the nutrient up to the amount necessary for optimum bone growth and health, a new study shows.

It’s been fairly well established in the literature (especially within the past 1-2 years) that vitamin D supplementation in adults is perfectly safe, and to a degree, almost mandatory. With a plethora of health benefits such as improved bone strength/bone mass, increases in lean muscle gain, improved cardiovascular health, improved blood pressure, improved sense of well-being (it’s no coincidence that we tend to feel down in the dumps during the winter months), and improved immune function, it’s amazing we haven’t been stressing it’s bad-assness sooner.

In a previous study, Fuleihan and colleagues found that giving 10- to 17-year-olds relatively high doses of vitamin D3 increased their bone mass and bone area, as well as lean mass. In the current study, they report on both the short- and long-term safety of high-dose supplementation.

You can read the article (link above), but I’ll summarize the results of the new study:

***Currently, the Institute of Medicine recommends 200 IU of D3 daily for children. In the current study, the high dose was 2,000 IU daily. Or what I like to call, “lets see what happens.”

Short-term study: 25 school children took either a placebo or 14,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 per week for eight weeks. Levels of the vitamin in children treated short-term rose from 44 to 54 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

Long-term study: 340 participants took either a placebo, 1,400 IU weekly, or 14,000 IU weekly of vitamin D3, and were followed up at six and twelve months. In the long-term study, levels rose from 15 to 19 ng/mL in children given 1,400 IU weekly and from 15 to 36 ng/mL in the higher-dose group. And no one grew a third head or developed some crazy mutant power that

Of course one could argue (ie: me) that vitamin D supplementation wouldn’t even be an issue if kids would actually go outside for a change, rather than spend their free time on the internet or playing Rock Band. I mean, when I was a kid, I spent all of my free time outside wrestling grizzly bears playing wiffle ball. No one could hit my slurve, yo!

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