Vitamin D, calcium: what doses for children and adolescents?

At least nine educated societies have come together to formulate new guidelines for vitamin D and calcium intake in children and adolescents. Objective: To strengthen the prevention of rickets and hypocalcaemia, both of which are harmful to bone.

Dr. Charlotte Tourmente

Dr. Charlotte Tourmente

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Vitamin D, calcium: what doses for children and adolescents?

In France, all babies receive 1 milligram of vitamin D until they are 18 months old. This supplement is based on the fact that breast milk is low in vitamin D, but also on the fact that children are not exposed to the sun, which is essential for the synthesis of this vitamin.

Vitamin D is also given to children under 5 years of age and adolescents from 10 to 18 years of age, as a jump in growth leads to increased demand.

Vitamin D: Who is it for?

Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium uptake and fixation in the bones. It is an essential mineral for bone skeleton, cartilage and teeth. It is found not only in dairy products, but also when eating small canned fish or vegetables.

Maintaining adequate calcium levels in the blood ensures good nerve transmission and muscle contraction. It also strengthens immune system and regulates the hormonal system.

New recommendations

To reconcile French recommendations and European, meNational Agency for the Safety of Medicines instructed a group of experts, coordinated by the Reference Center for Rare Diseases of Calcium and Phosphorus, to update directions. Their conclusions was published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics.

35 recommendations with two objectives have been published: to prevent ricketsa disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, which causes fractures and growth disorders, but also hypocalcaemia, which results in weakened bones.

Vitamin D: what dose and how often?

Of the 35 recommendations, 3 are Level A, in other words, with the highest level of scientific evidence.

The first recommendation among this trio is to reach the norm blood vitamin D (specifically 25 hydroxyvitamin D) greater than 20 ng / ml, not exceeding 80 ng / ml, long-term renal toxicity.

Therefore, it is recommended that healthy children between the ages of 0 and 18 be given 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D daily. less than 800 TV.

If daily intake is considered too restrictive, 50,000 IU every 3 months or 2 doses of 80,000 IU may be ‘scrubbed’, one in the autumn and the other in the winter.

According to experts, dietary supplements should be avoided due to the risk of overdose and possible poisoning.

What about calcium?

It is enough to consume 3 or 4 servings of dairy products daily to meet food needs. Children who are underutilized, especially if they are vegan, are advised to take an additional 500 to 1000 mg of calcium. Then these are the tablets that need to be sucked or chewed.

For pain or fractures in a child or adolescent, experts recommend estimating calcium intake.

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