Nursing moms may need vitamin D

Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, found that high doses of vitamin D improved the vitamin D status of nursing moms and their infants.

In this study, the objective was to look at how high-dose vitamin D2 supplementation for nursing mothers affected their vitamin D levels and those of their babies. Over a three-month period, 18 nursing moms (with infants one month of age) were enrolled and received either 1,600 IU vitamin D2 and 400 IU vitamin D3, or 3,600 IU vitamin D2 and 400 IU vitamin D3. The researchers found that at either dosage, vitamin D levels both for the nursing moms and their infants were increased.

At the Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali-University Hospital with the University of Iceland, researchers studied the impact of maternal diet on fat-soluble vitamins in breast milk. They wanted to know whether a mother’s intake of fat-soluble vitamins and cod liver oil supplementation would significantly impact the levels of fat-soluble vitamins in her breast milk. To this end, the dietary intake of 77 nursing moms was investigated by 24-hour diet recalls and breast-milk samples.

The researchers found that maternal vitamin A, E and D intakes were higher only when the diet was supplemented with cod liver oil. Without supplementation, vitamin D was too low in breast milk to meet the recommended intake for infants.

Sources: Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1752S-8S; Ann Nutr Metab. 2001;45(6):265-72