Why is it important for my daughter to get enough vitamin D?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Experts are concerned about low levels of vitamin D3 in kids -- especially girls because it's been connected with early menstruation. The combination of low vitamin D and starting their periods early makes girls more vulnerable to all kinds of problems: obesity, stunted growth, asthma, heart trouble, childhood pregnancy, breast cancer and more.

Put bluntly, girls who are low on vitamin D and menstruate early can turn into short, fat, asthmatic kids who become sick adults. What to do?
  • Talk to your pediatrician about vitamin D3 tests for children.
  • Make sure kids (you, too) get 10 to 20 minutes of sunshine daily. It tells skin to make D3. The only exception is anyone at high risk of burning.
  • Ask your pediatrician if your daughter needs extra D3 from supplements.
  • Boost D3 absorption with omega-3s from fish (canned tuna is fine), walnuts and supplements (20 mg per year of age for kids until the dose hits 900 mg, when your "kid" will be 45!).
Remember that being chronically low on D3 ups your own odds for colon, breast and ovarian cancer; heart disease; weak bones; asthma; colds and flu; diabetes; multiple sclerosis; and high blood pressure. Links have also turned up between low D and pneumonia, anemia and memory problems.

Continue Learning about Vitamin D

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.