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Vitamin D Deficiency In Infants And Nursing Mothers Carries Long-term Disease Risks

Date:
December 29, 2008
Source:
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Summary:
Once believed to be important only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life. The newly recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a report in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Once believed to be important only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life. The newly recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a new report.

Vitamin D deficiency is common across populations and particularly among people with darker skin. Nutritional rickets among nursing infants whose mothers have insufficient levels of vitamin D is an increasingly common, yet preventable disorder.

Carol Wagner, MD, Sarah Taylor, MD, and Bruce Hollis, PhD, from the Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston), emphasize the need for clinical studies to determine the dose of vitamin D needed to achieve adequate vitamin D levels in breastfeeding mothers and their infants without toxicity.

The authors point out that vitamin D is now viewed not simply as a vitamin with a role in promoting bone health, but as a complex hormone that helps to regulate immune system function. Long-term vitamin D deficiency has been linked to immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, and cancer.

"Vitamin D is a hormone not a vitamin and it is not just for kids anymore," writes Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, in an accompanying editorial. "Perhaps the most startling information is that adults are commonly deficit in modern society. Vitamin D is now recognized as a pivotal hormone in the human immune system, a role far beyond the prevention of rickets, as pointed out in the article by Wagner et al in this month's issue of Breastfeeding Medicine."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wagner et al. Does Vitamin D Make the World Go ‘Round’? Breastfeeding Medicine, 2008; 3 (4): 239 DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2008.9984

Cite This Page:

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Vitamin D Deficiency In Infants And Nursing Mothers Carries Long-term Disease Risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161058.htm>.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. (2008, December 29). Vitamin D Deficiency In Infants And Nursing Mothers Carries Long-term Disease Risks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161058.htm
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Vitamin D Deficiency In Infants And Nursing Mothers Carries Long-term Disease Risks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161058.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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