Non-cow’s milk – like as rice, soy, almond and goat’s milk products have become significantly preferred due to their identified health advantages or because of milk allergic reactions and lactose intolerance. However, a new research indicates that children who drink these kinds of beverages have reduced blood levels of vitamin D, in comparison with those who drink cow’s milk.
The scientists – lead by Dr. Jonathon Maguire, presented their results in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
They note that although parents may select non-cow’s milk beverages for their kids because of possible health advantages, whether they provide health benefits over cow’s milk is not clear.
In the US and Canada, where the research was performed, cow’s milk products must consist of 40 IU of vitamin D per 100 mL, and they are the main dietary source of vitamin D for kids.
Though it is feasible to enhance non-cow’s milk drinks with vitamin D, this is voluntary in both nations, where little regulation on fortification of such drinks exists.
With respect to the NIH, vitamin D keeps strong bones by supporting the body absorb calcium from food and supplements. People who are vitamin D lacking can develop soft, thin, weak bones – well-known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in grownups.
Because quite few foods normally consist of vitamin D, fortified foods offer most of the vitamin D in the American diet.
‘Children may also be at risk of reduced calcium intake’
To additional analyze how intake of non-cow’s milk may impact vitamin D levels in children, the scientists evaluated variations in vitamin levels in 2,831 healthy kids among the ages of 1-6 years old, who taken cow’s milk or alternative milk drinks.
The kids were all enrolled from seven pediatric or family medicine practices in Toronto, Canada, and of these kids, 85% consumed cow’s milk, while 12% consumed non-cow’s milk. The remaining 3% had unidentified milk consumptions.
Outcomes show that children who only consumed non-cow’s milk were more than two times as likely to have a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level below 50 nmol/L, in comparison with kids who consumed only cow’s milk.
The scientists describe that normal vitamin D levels are 50-150 nmol/L and greater. Furthermore, among kids who consumed both milk types, the team identified that each extra cup of non-cow’s milk taken was connected to a reduce in 25-hydroxyvitamin D level.
“Our results may be beneficial for health care suppliers caring for kids who drink non-cow’s milk drinks due to the fact of an allergy to cow’s milk, lactose intolerance or a dietary choice,” write the authors, adding that superior “education concerning nutrition labels is essential to make sure that non-cow’s milk products prepared with vitamin D are being selected by parents and caregivers.”
In a connected article to the research, Drs. Sina Gallo, note that focus requires to be paid to what kinds of drinks children are taking and their vitamin D content.
“Moreover,” they write, “with the exemption of goat’s milk, drinks not fortified with vitamin D will also probably not contain calcium. If parents do not realize this association, children may also be at risk of decreased calcium intake.”
Though their research had a large sample size, the scientists report a few restrictions, such as its cross-section design, which makes causality incapable to be determined.
In addition, the parent-reported dimensions of children’s milk intake mean that the data could have been impacted by recall bias.
Another main restriction of the study is that the kids all had lighter skin pigmentation and greater vitamin D supplementation than non-participants, which indicates the results “may not be generalizable to kids from other areas or from non-urban areas that may be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency.”
Leaving comments on the vitamin D levels noticed in the research, Drs. Gallo and Rodd write:
“Even though cow’s milk and non-cow’s milk drinks are not necessarily created equal, it is lucky that few of the young kids evaluated by Lee and colleagues were deficient in vitamin D irrespective of the drinks consumed.
This may indicate concurrent use of vitamin D supplements or a generous approximated average need for vitamin D.”