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Double The Vitamin D, Kids' Doctors Say

CBS News—October 13, 2008

A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says children, from newborns to teens, should get twice the previously recommended daily amount of Vitamin D.

New studies have found it may help reduce risks of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, in addition to keeping bones strong.

Those studies mean that many American children, like David Osorio, are Vitamin D deficient, reports CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. Osorio is only six-years-old and has already suffered bone fractures in both arms.

"I fell off the slide and first I broke this wrist," Osorio said cradling his left arm in his right hand.

But the root cause of those broken bones is more than a boisterous boy at play, LaPook reports, it's also a serious lack of Vitamin D.

"It's a very preventable thing if you're up on your nutrition - it seems easy enough to supplement with Vitamin D rather than suffer the consequences of having a broken bone," says Dr. Shevaun Doyle, pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.

The new advice replaces a 2003 academy recommendation for 200 units daily.

That's the amount the government recommends for children and adults up to age 50; 400 units is recommended for adults aged 51 to 70 and 600 units for those aged 71 and up. Vitamin D is sold in drops for young children, capsules and tablets.

View the full story at cbsnews.com.


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