According to Bruce Hollis, primary investigator in a vitamin D experiment at the Medical University of South Carolina, lactating mothers getting the officially recommended amounts of Vitamin D did not have adequate blood levels of the vitamin. In fact, even those mothers receiving 2000 IU of Vitamin D (5 times the RDA) did not receive enough Vitamin D to pass onto their babies. Even though 2000 IU is considered the official “upper-limit” for safe consumption of Vitamin D (a number which most researchers know is ridiculously low), this amount was shown to be too low to raise Vitamin D blood levels adequately in this study. Babies and mothers in the 6000 IU/day (15 times the RDA) study group had adequate Vitamin D levels.
This study could change the way we think about Vitamin D and pregnancy/lactation. The RDA for Vitamin D (400 IU) seems rather low, adequate to prevent rickets perhaps, but not adequate to prevent other Vitamin D related diseases. The research on Vitamin D is just emerging, and I for one am excited. Vitamin D is safe, and unfortunately, hard to get from food alone. Milk is often fortified with Vitamin D, but hormones in the milk may block Vitamin D’s absorption. This basically means we have two real options: eat fatty fish or get in the sun. The last two decades, the “experts” have told us to avoid the latter as if our life depended on it. Maybe one side lesson from all of this is that we should take control of our own health, making it a priority, rather than letting the government or big business do it for us.