When Violet was an infant our pediatrician prescribed a vitamin D supplement. I balked because she was our second child and our pediatrician in San Diego (who I liked therefore trusted just a little bit more than the doctor we have now) never mentioned a word about giving Lorelei a supplement. Of course, five years had passed since Lorelei was an infant - plus I thought it could have been a regional difference, sunny California maybe didn't have as many incidences of vitamin D deficiency. I still felt hesitant about giving a perfectly healthy infant a supplement, my instincts were telling me that if I had a healthy diet and the right amount of vitamin D shouldn't my nursing baby be getting the right nutrients? But the pediatrician insisted it was needed, so I bought it.
I gave it to Violet one time - she made it really difficult to administer and basically spit it all back out making a sticky purplish mess. Since I was giving it to her against my instincts that made it easy for me to say, "Never mind, this is too much trouble." The next several times I went back to the pediatrician for well check-ups she always asked about the vitamin D and I just decided to not rock the boat and say, "Yep, sure, she's taking it."
When Zoey was born, same thing all over again - except I didn't bother buying the stuff, I just nodded and smiled.
A couple of weeks ago, I felt some vindication when I heard this story on NPR. A panel of independent medical researchers was convened by the US and Canadian governments and "[t]heir new study says most Americans get plenty of vitamin D in their regular routine and diet — and supplements can even be harmful." The recommendation coming out of the study was to take 600 units of vitamin D rather than the 1000 to 3000 that was previously recommended. That seems like a pretty big difference to me.
Of course this is one study and as seen in the comments section of the story, many many people disagree. Commenters wondered whose payroll these doctors were on, if the study was skewed too much toward bone health and not other aspects of vitamin D's benefits, some pointed to other studies that showed the benefits as far as cancer prevention goes. So what are we supposed to believe?
I'm going to stick with my instincts and say that it isn't for my family. Of course I'm one of those crazy hippies that says no thanks to the flu shot, too.
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