Breastfed Babies Vitamin Deficient - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Breastfed Babies Vitamin Deficient

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Doctors have found babies who are exclusively fed breast milk are deficient in vitamin D.

In response, breastfed babies under six months old are now given a vitamin D supplement.

Dr. Daunne Peters at the Clinics of North Texas said the issue is not that the mother's milk is lacking, but infants have a hard time absorbing the vitamin from breast milk.

A vitamin D deficiency can hamper bone development and can lead to a childhood disease called Rickets, which produces nodules on the bones. "It is a bony disorder where you start having abnormalities in your bones because your bones have to start ramping up their calcium and start to produce extra calcium for the body," said Dr. Peters.

Vitamin D lacking in the body can also cause other bone problems, like an enlarged forehead or bow-leggedness, and even make kids more vulnerable to pathological fractures.

"The good thing is, you start replacing vitamin D and those changes go away, it's completely reversible," said Dr. Peters.

Despite this finding, Dr. Peters said she and other health professionals still recommend breastfeeding as the number one option.

"It is still best because it still has the best immunoglobulins for your immune system, it prevents disease the best, it has better outcome on your gastrointestinal system, allergies, all of it," said Dr. Peters. "So still, your overall health is better with breastfeeding. You may have to give an extra vitamin, but your overall health is better."

Christina Myers
cmyers@kauz.com