Monday, August 3, 2009

Studies show millions of US kids are lacking in vitamin D

When I came into work this morning and pulled up my homepage on the internet, one of the top stories was entitled "Studies: Millions of U.S. Kids Lacking Vitamin D." I immediately clicked on the link to read the article. The first two paragraphs are as follows:

"Millions of U.S. children have disturbingly low Vitamin D levels, possibly increasing their risk for bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other ailments, according to two new studies that provide the first national assessment of the crucial nutrient in young Americans.

About 9 percent of those ages 1 through 21 — about 7.6 million children, adolescents and young adults — have Vitamin D levels so low they could be considered deficient, while an additional 61 percent — 50.8 million — have higher levels, but still low enough to be insufficient, according to the analysis of federal data being released Monday."

This is a HUGE problem and kids are being set up for failure. Parents in general are taking a back seat to their children's health. It is assumed that they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need in their Poptarts, school lunches, and happy meals.

According to the article, about 70% of children have insufficient amounts of the super important vitamin in their bodies. You think we have health problems now?! Just wait and see what happens if nothing is done to correct this problem. Heart disease, cancer, viral infections, and so on will go through the roof.

I am not trying to point a finger at anyone and say you stink as a parent. I'm only trying to raise your awareness of a very serious problem that could easily go overlooked and have damaging effects to your child's health. I have 3 kids of my own and never really thought about this vitamin until Dr. Mercola started touting it's importance recently, so I'm preaching to myself at the same time.

I'm sure by now you're thinking to yourself, "So how do I make sure my child is getting enough of the good stuff?" I'm so glad you asked.

First, we need to turn off all the video games and cartoons and get kids outside playing. It's not the playing part for the vitamin D but the sun exposure. Your body will naturally make the vitamin when your skin sees the light of day. In fact, one theory behind why the flu is more prevalent in the winter is because of dips in the general populations vitamin D levels from keeping skin covered up.

Getting kids more active will have a lot of positive health benefits besides boosting their vitamin D levels. It will also help their bodies develop neurologically, promote a healthier immune system, and help prevent type 2 diabetes. Of course, regular exercise for kids does a lot more for their body then just those few things. I just wanted to hit some highlights.

Second, you need to find a high quality Vitamin D supplements for your kiddos. I say high quality because that is important in the world of supplements. In general, vitamins and herbs are still very loosely regulated. Brand X in the grocery store doesn't always make sure that what they have in their pills match what the label says on the outside and the vitamin in said pills aren't always of a good absorbable form of whatever you are taking. If you don't take the time to know who you are buying your supplements from then you are literally urinating or pooping your money away.

I would also like to point out that there is no 1 company that is the "best" with a secret formula to get you more vitamin D. There are several companies that produce quality vitamins. The company I recommend is web-based because I can't find any brands in the grocery stores that are reliable.

I hope that I have raised the awareness of at least 1 person. Have an excellent day!

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