We live in a city with very little sun. I gave my now 16 mo Vit D drops from the time he was about 7 months. He was born in September and up until I started giving him Vit D drops, he had very little sun exposure. I'd give him 400 IU on days he didn't get any sun exposure. We recently spent 2 months in India and I'm hoping he got enough Vit D stores there, and haven't been giving him the drops anymore. I would like to start giving him CLO instead but I'm not sure what is the best form. Should I give him CLO or FCLO or FCLO with BO? What are the benefits of each of these and down-sides, if any?
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CLO vs FCLO vs FCLO/BO
Have you had his vitamin D levels checked? If he's behind, it's hard to catch up with CLO alone. Not all CLO is equal. Most have had most of the nutrients processed out of them, and many have synthetic nutrients added back in. There is debate as to the safety of synthetic Vitamins, especially Vitamin A. Most CLO's will not have enough Vitamin D to maintain, much less raise serum vitamin D levels in lieu of going out in the sun. Additionally, if they are processed at high temperatures, they likely contain damaged fatty acids, but in general, they have been shown to be beneficial by providing some vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids. They have a lighter taste that many find more palatable than FCLO.
FCLO has way more nutrients than any regular CLO that I have seen. However, most of the Vitamin D is Vitamin D2 that is not as easily usable as Vitamin D3. It's an excellent choice for maintaining good nutrition, but many people find that it is not enough to raise their Vitamin D status significantly or to be their only source of Vitamin D to the exclusion of going out in the sun.
BO added to FCLO contains more vitamins A and D and adds Vitamin K2 as well, the more bioavailable, fat-soluble version of Vitamin K. This combination is recommended to promote healthy teeth and bones.
Thank you JMJ for your detailed reply. No, I haven't had his vit D levels checked. My level was normalized during pregnancy and I continue to take 5000 IU about once a week or so. He's breast-fed so may be he's getting some Vit D from me as well.
DS is intolerant to eggs, so now his source of vit D from food is: Ghee/Butter, Salmon, Cheese. So he's getting some Vitamin A and K too. I have to introduce liver to his diet as well.
From what you've written, I gather FCLO/BO would be the best choice. IS there a brand you'd recommend? I've heard Green Pastures is good. What would be the dosage for a 16 mo who weighs 19 lbs?
Do you know what your levels actually were when they were tested to be "normal?" I ask because there is some disagreement about what is considered to be "normal." The National Institute of Health considers anything above 20 ng/ml to be "normal," citing multiple studies that show that the incidence of rickets and other Vitamin D-related bone disorders are almost completely eliminated when Vitamin D levels are kept above 20 ng/ml. They don't consider there to be enough proof that Vitamin D is important for anything other than bone health.
However, there have been a number of other studies that have indicated that Vitamin D may be important for a number of other bodily systems, and that Vitamin D levels much higher than 20 ng/ml may be necessary for optimal immune functioning, mental health, fertility, and more. Most Vitamin D tests now use 30 ng/ml as the minimum standard for "normal." The Vitamin D council recommends levels of 50-80 ng/ml as optimal with the reasoning that it is the level that people who work outside have, and at that level, a breastfeeding mother provides enough Vitamin D to her nursling without supplementation. I personally find the Vitamin D council's reasoning compelling, and this is what I aim for.
I'm not really sure what I think the best choice is. I know that the WAPF has a list of ones that they recommend, including various CLO's and the FCLO from Green Pastures. Green Pastures is the only one that makes FCLO that is widely available. Many people don't like the taste, though, and prefer to take it in capsules, and that doesn't work so well for kids. For us, we eat a lot of grass-fed butter and ghee, so I'm not sure adding butter oil is worth it. You may weight things differently, depending on what other ways you are getting those vitamins and Omega-3's.
I tested my Vit D level through the Vitamin D council about a month before I got pregnant and it was 30 ng/ml. I tested again sometime towards the end of my 2nd trimester and it was 60 ng/ml. Although Vit D council said there were no risks at even higher levels, some recent research indicates it should be closer to 50 ng/ml. I haven't tested since. Maybe I should test again to make sure my levels are still normalized.
We eat plenty of grass-fed ghee too. Infact, everything DS eats is cooked in ghee. So I too am wondering if the added BO would be beneficial. I don't want to give him more vitamins than his body needs unless there are no side effects.
On a completely different note: my PCP freaked out when I told her I was taking 5000IU when I was pregnant. She asked me not to exceed 400IU. Thank goodness I ignored her advice.
JMJ, I was trying to find the link but couldn't find what I was looking for. But here's the latest from Vit D Council:
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