Vitamin Builds Baby's Muscles

And Decreases Fat



A lot of people know that vitamin D, taken with calcium, builds strong bones in adults but until now no one has observed its effects on babies, which is to grow kids with greater muscle mass and less fat, say researchers in Pediatric Obesity.

"We were very intrigued by the higher lean mass, the possibility that vitamin D can help infants to not only grow healthy skeletons but also healthy amounts of muscle and less fat,” says Hope Weiler, director of the Mary Emily Clinical Nutrition Research Unit at McGill University.

The team followed 132 infants in Montréal, Québec, given a vitamin D3 supplement at one of four different dosages between the ages of 1 month and 12 months.

Silver Baby

The new study confirmed the importance for the development of strong bones of a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU/day during a baby’s first year. But the greater muscle mass was an added bonus effect.

Doctors recommend vitamin D supplementation for babies until they can get an adequate amount through their diet. However, doctors often advise that kids take cod liver oil for vitamin D. The skin synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight but in the northern US, Canada and other areas of the world, with less sunlight, supplementing vitamin D can be even more crucial.

T. J. Hazell, S. Gallo, C. A. Vanstone, S. Agellon, C. Rodd, H. A. Weiler. Vitamin D supplementation trial in infancy: body composition effects at 3 years of age in a prospective follow-up study from Montréal. Pediatric Obesity, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/ijpo.12105
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