Hello, I am looking for an opinion on D3 supplementation for newborns. We have a 3-week-old daughter whose physician's assistant recommended we supplement with 4000 IU. I believe this was an accident — it seems to be an adult dose — but that is not the reason I'm writing. It prompted me to look further into infant dosing recommendations, and what concerns me is the handful a handful of studies I found correlating early supplementation with an INcreased risk of allergies/atopy later in life. I put the citations below. So my questions are about about the benefits vs. risks of supplementation. Are they two sides of the exact same coin? Or can you suggest a strategy that might provide one without the other? For example: delaying supplementation until a certain age, or keeping her blood levels within some intermediate range. What would consider a minimum effective blood level to realize the important benefits? Thanks! Milner J D, Stein D M, McCarter R, Moon R Y. Early infant multivitamin supplementation is associated with increased risk for food allergy and asthma. Pediatrics 2004. 11427–32.32 Hypponen E, Sovio U, Wjst M, Patel S, Pekkanen J, Hartikainen A L. et al Infant vitamin D supplementation and allergic conditions in adulthood: northern Finland birth cohort 1966. Ann NY Acad Sci 2004. 103784–95.95 Bäck O, Blomquist HKS, Hernell O, Stenberg B. Does vitamin D intake during infancy promote the development of atopic allergy? Acta Derm Venereol. 2009;89(1):28–32. doi:10.2340/00015555-0541. Wjst M. The vitamin D slant on allergy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2006 Nov;17(7):477-83.

Asked by  tonyp on November 12, 2014


  • Jeff Nicklas
    Keymaster
     Jeff Nicklas on

    Hi tonyp,

    You are right regarding research on vitamin D supplementation in infancy and risk of allergy. Evidence seems to suggest that both vitamin D deficiency and high-dose supplementation may increase the risk of allergy.

    With high-dose supplementation, the concern is with immune “hypersensitivity”. That is, when an infant’s immune system is still developing, high-doses of vitamin D may over sensitize it which may increase the risk of allergies.

    That being said, vitamin D is still crucial for proper development and for many areas of health. The most natural way for your baby to get the vitamin D that she needs is through breast milk. Breast milk only has enough vitamin D for the mother and the breastfeeding baby if the mother is taking between 4,000 – 6,000 IU/day of vitamin D3.

    If this is not possible, then the next best strategy is to give your baby a supplement in drop form. A healthy vitamin D level for a baby would be the same for an adult. You want a level of at least 32 ng/ml for proper bone health and development, while a level of 40-60 ng/ml is considered the natural level.

    Answered by  Jeff Nicklas on

Recent Discussion

Popular Questions