Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston have published a detailed review.
Their interest relates to the needs of vitamin D in the breastfeeding mother and her infant and child, but they also present a detailed and well-referenced review.
Some historical perspective Mid-1600s
Rickets is identified as a major health problem for young children as people begin to leave rural farming communities for urban areas.
The exodus brought about lifestyle and environmental changes that limited sunlight exposure.
Rickets is characterized by deformities of the skeleton, coupled with generalized muscle weakness.
Early 19th century
Rickets was epidemic in northern Europe and in industrialized northern regions of the United States.
Dr. Andrew Sniadecki reported that lack of sun exposure could be the cause of rickets.
Fish liver oils discovered to heal rickets.
Vitamin D identified, and the link was made to rickets.
Vitamin D effects organ systems throughout the body down to the cellular level.
What was once thought to be a simple hormone affecting only bone and calcium metabolism, is recognized to be much more.
It’s a complex hormone that regulates calcium and the integrity of the immune system.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to inflammatory and certain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, diabetes, and various cancers, to name a few.
The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “As new evidence points to serious consequences of chronic vitamin D deprivation,â€¦ we must establish normative guidelines for safe and effective vitamin D supplementation during lactation in both the lactating woman and her infant that address modern-day lifestyles. It is clear that at least in part, vitamin D does make the world go â€˜round.” The latest vitamin D dosing recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) are summarized here.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.