Vitamin D is essential for young children both for the healthy development of bones and also for protecting against eczema and asthma.
New research into sources of vitamin D, published in the January edition of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has found that a combination of cow’s milk and vitamin D supplements is a safe and effective method of giving kid’s an optimum amount of vitamin D.[quote]Research shows that children with higher levels of vitamin D have less incidences of eczema and asthma.[/quote]
In addition research has proved that eczema symptoms often worsen in winter due to lower levels of sun exposure.
Sun is a direct source of vitamin D, but with modern fears over skin cancer risk associated withUV exposure, there are now worries that kids are not getting sufficient vitamin D for healthy bone and skin development.
National dietary records show that in many communities children are receiving dangerously low levels of vitamin D from their normal diets, without the rest being made up for by sun exposure.
However the new research found that two factors most strongly associated with higher vitamin D stores in children under six years of age were taking a daily vitamin D supplement and drinking two cups of cows milk a day . Both of those factors were better at predicting a child’s vitamin D stores than exposure to the sun.
Importantly, parents of children with eczema should be very cautious about this research. Cow’s milk has been shown to be a trigger for eczema in some children and to worsen the condition in others. This is often a problem in the under 3s. But even after this age when a full blown allergic reaction has subsided milk has been associated with worsened symptoms So while Vitamin D has been found to help eczema, Milk may not be the best source. Parents should show great caution when introducing it to a child’s diet or reintroducing it after a previous allergic reaction.