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Alaska legislator wants vitamin D tests for newborns

Posted on: February 25, 2013   by  Vitamin D Council

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Alaska State legislator, Representative Paul Seaton, wants to test the vitamin D levels of all newborns in Alaska. So he’s sponsoring a House Bill, the vitamin D newborn testing proposal.

He hopes such bill will enable the State to collect data on vitamin D levels of newborns in Alaska.

Rep. Seaton has been known to hand out vitamin D to anyone who may be lacking, including fellow legislators. He became interested in vitamin D three years ago when he saw a program covering the international vitamin D research conference.

“Normally what’s thought is that the farther north you are or the farther south you are (like New Zealand) you don’t get the sunshine, you don’t make the vitamin D. So there’s some real problems,” he explained while introducing his bill.

The proposed tests would be done at birth and would involve two drops of blood from the umbilical cord on a collection card to be analyzed. Seaton’s main intention is the potential benefit for Alaska’s children.

Seaton is met with some opposition. Those skeptical of the bill are unsure what the study would achieve and also voice skepticism of the research on the benefits of vitamin D, aside from bone health.

Seaton believes that the testing would make parents aware of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and may encourage them to supplement their children.

Both the state Department of Health and Social Services and Gov. Sean Parnell haven’t yet announced a position on the bill.

Source

Demer L. Legislator wants to test Alaska newborns for vitamin D. Anchorage Daily News. February 23, 2013.

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