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UGA Research: Infants Lacking Vitamin D

University of Georgia

Only 1 in 3 infants enrolled in WIC are getting enough vitamin D in their first 13 months of life, according to research from the University of Georgia.

Most infants cannot get enough vitamin D from breastmilk alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfed infants receive supplemental vitamin D, but only 6% to 12% of infants enrolled in WIC—a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children—received supplemental vitamin D in the first year of their life, according to the study.

However, the study suggests infants fed exclusively with formula may also need to supplement Vitamin D, said Sina Gallo, lead author of the study—as less than half of formula fed infants get the recommended amount.

Vitamin D is important for infants and children who are building bone mass, said Gallo. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a disease that softens and weakens bones.