Breastfeeding infants received adequate amounts of vitamin D from breast milk when their mothers took 6,400 IU vitamin D3 per day, according to recently published data in Pediatrics.
“With appropriate vitamin D intake, the lactating mother can fully transfer from her blood to her milk the vitamin D required to sustain optimal vitamin D nutrition in the nursing infant with no additional supplementation required for the infant,” the researchers wrote.
To assess the impact of various levels of vitamin D supplementation on lactating mothers and their nursing infants, researchers randomly assigned 334 mothers to receive 400 IU, 2,400 IU or 6,400 IU vitamin D3 per day for 6 months. Infants whose mothers were in the 400 IU group received oral 400 IU vitamin D3 per day, while infants whose mothers were in the 2,400 or 6,400 group received nothing.
Results demonstrated that women in the 6,400 IU group had significantly increased levels of vitamin D and 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, compared with the 400 IU group (P < .0001).
The infants of women taking 6,400 IU vitamin D per day had vitamin D levels comparable to the infants receiving the oral 400 IU vitamin D supplement per day.
A significant association was seen between vitamin D deficiency and race, with black mothers and infants having significantly lower circulating 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels compared with white women and infants, according to the researchers.
“The medical community has accepted the fact that low concentrations of vitamin D are an inherent defect in human milk that has promoted recommendation of vitamin D supplementation for breastfeeding infants starting within the first few days after birth. The current study clearly refutes this misconception,” the researchers wrote. – by Casey Hower
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.