I came across this interesting article regarding vitamin D deficiency in American children. At first take, a problem as simple as not getting adequate amounts of vitamin D might be something that you'd think would be confined to third world or developing countries; however, a study by researchers at Albert Einstein College found that 7.6 million American children are vitamin D deficient (defined as less than 15 ng/mL of vitamin D in blood) and 50.8 million are vitamin D insufficient (defined as 15 to 29 ng/mL of vitamin D in blood). Low vitamin D levels were especially common in children who were older, female, African-American, Mexican-American, obese, drank milk less than once a week, or spent more than four hours a day watching TV, playing videogames, or using computers. Low vitamin D levels are associated with higher parathyroid hormone levels, a marker of bone health, higher systolic blood pressure, and lower serum calcium and HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which are key risk factors for heart disease.
The good news is that vitamin D supplementation can help. In the study, children who took vitamin D supplements (400 IU/day) were less likely to be deficient in the vitamin.
The bad news is that only four percent of the study population actually used supplements. The American Academy of Pediatrics, which recently updated its vitamin D guidelines, now recommends that infants, children, and teens should take 400 IU per day in supplement form.
Unicity's current BoneMate Plus formulation contains 400 IUs of vitamin D per serving. We are in the process of reformulating this to increase the amount of vitamin D and be in line with current recommendations of 2000 IUs.