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Breastfeeding causes Rickets? (WTF?)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
http://www.voanews.com/english/Ameri...5-02-voa54.cfm

Quote:
"Breast milk is the perfect food for you and your baby."

Except that it lacks vitamin D. Bhatia concluded that the recurrence of rickets was caused by the surge in breast-feeding.
post #2 of 5
Well.........the way I read the article, the cause isn't breastfeeding at all. In fact, the article praised the increase in bf rates across all ethnic lines. And the researchers went far enough to determine how breastfeeding correlates with other aspects of family/cultural life, and they've come up with a creative, non-invasive way to deal with the problem, without once saying "don't breastfeed".

Unless I really missed something big, I don't see where this article made breastfeeding out to be the actual problem, but rather just a piece of the puzzle itself.
post #3 of 5
From the article:

Quote:
But there's nothing new about dark-colored skin or breast-feeding. So Bhatia searched for another explanation for the return of rickets, and found it in the American life-style. "Often it's the case that both parents are working and the children are indoors at a daycare until they're picked up and brought home in the evening when it's dark already," she observes. American kids are also indoors more because of TV, video and computer games. And in Oakland, says Bhatia, violence keeps them out of the sun. "When you watch the evening news and you hear of two toddlers shot as they're playing in the front yard, you can understand why most parents wouldn't be eager to have their children playing outside in the front."
The article states very clearly that an indoor lifestyle, not breastfeeding, is the problem. incidental sunshine in the car to-from daycare may be enough for white kids, but not for the ones with dark skin. Kids need safe places to play outside and outside time even as infants.

The recommendation for broad-based giving of Vit D to all bf infants is irritating. At risk infants, who have dark skin, dark skin and/or covering mothers, and lack access to sunshine are the ones who need it, not the general breastfed population.
post #4 of 5
I will come back to this... I don't have time at the moment to cite sources but I would like to.

Sunshine vitamin D and dietary vitamin D are 2 very different things.

The original cure for rickets was cod liver oil, not sunshine.

In the northern latitudes, it is impossible to make vitamin D for a large part of the year. (This is why cancer rates rise as you go up in latitude.) Or at a certain time of the day. Or depending on how much skin you expose (without sunscreen of course).

Vitamin D deficiency is very real and very common regardless of skin color. Rickets just the worst end of the spectrum, there are many other diseases and disorders that are effected by vitamin D deficiency (as evidenced by the current rise in Early Childhood Caries for example).

There is only one study I know of (out of Harvard) that cites that a bf'ing mama will confer "enough" D to a babe if their intake is 6,000 IU of D/day. Unfortunately this raises many questions as to the food vs. sun sources.

The RDA is not adequate if you are deficient in D. This could also play a major role in transferring "enough" thru breastmilk. We shouldnt take it for granted that there is not "enough" D in BM without determining the true cause. If one is to say that the human body is designed to get D from sun is to miss the fact that traditional diets contained a great deal of vit. D from food, and perhaps the reason is that our food is too processed in modern times.

Many studies have shown you need several thousand IUs to restore blood levels if you are deficient. Also , chemical forms of D, especially the vegan kind D2, do not work the same way in the body as the natural form D3.

I think this is a major issue that the breastfeeding community has not at all addressed adequately by saying just "get out in the sun". There is a real dietary component to this and to dismiss that is not serving babes or their mamas well.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravin View Post
From the article:



The article states very clearly that an indoor lifestyle, not breastfeeding, is the problem. incidental sunshine in the car to-from daycare may be enough for white kids, but not for the ones with dark skin. Kids need safe places to play outside and outside time even as infants.

The recommendation for broad-based giving of Vit D to all bf infants is irritating. At risk infants, who have dark skin, dark skin and/or covering mothers, and lack access to sunshine are the ones who need it, not the general breastfed population.
But since the darker skinned population doesn't accounty for 100% of the vitamin d deficiency being seen in the study this article is about, how would the folks at WIC (who are distributing the supplement) to go about determining who outside the darker skinned community should get the supplement? It seems a bit unfair to "deny" moms of lighter skinned infants the same supplement. What if those lighter skinned children are also in daycare, don't get much sunlight and whatnot, and could also be helped by the supp? I agree, blanket solutions aren't always best, but how else in this instance can an agency like WIC handle something like this?
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