Children – How Much Vitamin D

Children and vitamin D will be the discussion for the next several decades as we try to discover the true importance of how sunshine interacts with growth and disease states.  We have spent the last fifty years figuring out ways to keep children from going into the sun.  The sun, we were told is going to be very bad for your skin and will lead to skin cancer if you get burned as a child.  We were also told even if you do not burn that too much exposure to sun is not a good thing.  We have never been told that low or no exposure to sun is a not good and even a very bad thing because of infections and chronic disease.

Growing up in the fifties and sixties, there were never any of my friends that had trouble with their backs unless they had hurt themselves in some fashion.  Spine issues were minor of course except for the few cases of spina bifida or scoliosis.  I truly believe that both of these diseases are from the mother being vitamin D deficient in combination with other nutrients like folic acid for spina bfida.  Now it is impossible to talk with a teenager that does not know someone their age that has had back surgery.  This is just the beginning of a host of chronic diseases for children of the 1980’s, 90’s, 10’s that will result in mass illness of many forms.

To prevent the most of diseases, both chronic and infectious, vitamin D is a necessity.  So then the question arises how much vitamin D should we get and how should we maintain a healthy exposure to the sun.  Let me first say that exposure to the sun is still a growing science and we do not know all of the biochemical activity that is happening when we expose ourselves to the sun.  Our relationship to the sun has changed forever with the development of sunscreens and sun block.   Only with a consistent effort to redevelop this relationship will health be achieved.   I maintain that the best approach is to just use common sense.  The best common sense approach is to maintain a vitamin D level as if it is summer all year round.  If you read the medical research while using common sense you will discover that is really what the researchers that are proponents of vitamin D are saying.  From your personal perspective you do not get colds in the summertime and the reason is sun exposure.  By maintaining your level of vitamin D in the winter time to the summer level you will most likely not get colds then either.  I have not had a cold since 2004 when I started this effort.

Babies with colds and congestion?- mothers tell me your experience.  I suspect that your child will have significantly less issues if enough vitamin D is made available.

How much vitamin D does it take to achieve this summertime level?  From all that I have read a good rule of thumb is to get about 40 IU of D3 from all sources for each pound of body weight.  So it does not make any difference if you are a ten pound baby or a two hundred pound senior citizen.  For the baby this would give it 400 IU’s per day and for the two hundred pound senior citizen that would be 8000 IU per day.  This level of vitamin D intake or production in the skin should maintain your vitamin D level above 60 ng/ml, which is the bottom of the range for vitamin D for person living in a sunny country.  Work done by Grant and Holick have shown the 25(OH)D level for sunny country people to be 54 ng/ml to 90 ng/ml.

Of course the only way to know if your serum level of vitamin D is above sixty is to test!

If your total level of intake or production is not 40 IU of D3 per pound of body weight and you do not test to maintain your level above 60 ng/ml  then expect disease states.  – Pandemic Survivor

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12 thoughts on “Children – How Much Vitamin D

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  4. Mr. Pegram, I’ve discovered your blog about a week ago and have finally caught up with all your posts.

    I am very pleased to read for someone spreading information in such a clear manner.

    At 29, my lower back pain of about 10 years became unbearable. I had stabbing pain with numbness and heaviness going down the leg. I panicked and, after many tests, was told that I had degenerative disc disease with disc bulging at L4/L5.

    The doctor shrugged it off and said the pain I was feeling was out of proportion with the severity of the condition. In other words, I was hurting a lot but there was nothing seriously wrong with me. He sent me to PT and gave me some strong painkillers.

    For the next few years, I’ve felt pain that made me want to jump off my 38 floor window. The pain was so bad, I couldn’t think straight for days at a time. I was in graduate school at the time and decided to take leave.

    I live in Canada and have near no sun exposure some 8 or 9 months of the year. I also have dark skin which I have since learnt makes it doubly difficult to make Vitamin D from sun exposure. After being dismissed by the family doctor to test my Vitamin D levels for a year, I bought the kit myself. My level was 7. Yes, that is the figure. I cringe at what other diseases were in my future with this deficiency.

    When I went back to the doctor, he shrugged again and said that commercial testing is not accurate or reliable. And I shouldn’t worry about the sun because everyone in Canada suffers the same fate as I do. Let me tell you about the everyone he talks about. The city I live in has the HIGHEST rate of colorectal cancer in the world. Somehow, his words were of no comfort.

    I fired him January 2011 and started reading about Vitamin D. I began taking 2000IU per day (I am 5’7″, 138lbs.). Then, I increased that dosage to 4000IU per day. This month, I’ve gone up to 6000IU.

    My back pain is nearly 2/3 relieved. My worst days are now what used to be my best days. I will test again when I’ve taken this dose for 3 months.

    To tell you that I am livid is an understatement. While I am only 34, I’ve had excruciating back pain for more than 15 years. No doctor (and I’ve been to 4) has cared about a relatively young person dealing with chronic and severe enough pain to interfere with daily living and reduce the quality of life so drastically.

    I know pain inside and out. I’ve paced the hallways of my apartment in the middle of the night, worried that sitting or lying down will bring back the stabbing, burning nerve pain. I haven’t returned to grad. school but may go back next year.

    Why won’t someone say something to these doctors? And do you think I am the only one? I’ve met so many people my age at the PT who have had spinal surgeries for bulging and ruptured discs. What in the world is going on?

    I’m sorry about the verbose comment. I just wanted you to know that there are many people who are reading your blog and feeling vindicated. Keep doing what you do because it is good work.

    Sahra

    • Sahra,

      Thanks for your note. You started having back pain at the same age as I did, except I went for thirty years before I found relief with vitamin D. My doctor told me the same thing, ‘your pain cannot be as bad as you describe’. Thank goodness you found vitamin D before you had to have surgery. Many are suffering our pain and the reason governments have not acted is because of the reduction on the medical economy and that impact on the overall economy. I like to think it is not for the profits of those in the medical industries, but that is unavoidable.

      Do not hate for as long as I did. I was angry for many years after I discovered the science was being ignored. The hate does no good, in fact, it will do you harm- be forgiving. Just continue to spread the word.

      The other key is to do exercise so the disc get nutrients. Remember, there is no blood supply to the disc. Do decompression exercises every day like 20 or so yogi exercise downward dogs per day.

      Living without pain really is great!
      Mark

      • Mr. Pegram, thank you very much for your advice. I am quite grateful not to have had surgeries and will do my best to not be livid any longer.

        Living without pain is truly great. I have directed so many of the people I’ve met at the PT to your site so they can gain insights as well.

        On my local radio show, there was the typical scaremonger clinician saying that the Vitamin D ‘fad’ (his word) poses risks of people taking too much. He also added that there is a link between high intakes of Vitamin D supplements and the development of brain tumours.

        I’ve searched online for that link with no success. I’ve also sent an e-mail to the Vitamin D Council urging them to address the issue on their site. If you run into any research linking the two, I would appreciate it if you could cover it on your site in the future. I will continue checking.

        Best of luck to you for continued health and painless living and thank you for all that you do in spreading knowledge about this crucial matter.

        Sahra

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