400 IU daily dose of vitamin D `sufficient for infants`

Washington: Babies should be given a daily dose of vitamin D of 400 IU (international units) to help them stay healthy, a new study suggests.

The study led by Professor Hope Weiler, from the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill University and by Dr. Celia Rodd of McGill`s Department of Pediatrics, has just confirmed the how much vitamin D should babies be given.

"There`s sometimes a feeling that more is better. But until now, no one had compared the popularly recommended daily doses of vitamin D to see what will result in optimal health for infants, so we were very glad to be able to do this," Prof. Weiler said.

Current recommendations about how much vitamin D a baby needs daily in order to build healthy bones and prevent rickets vary widely.

In France and Finland, the recommended daily dose is of 1,000 IU for infants.

At the lower end of the scale, Health Canada and the World Health Organization both recommend a daily dose of 400 IU.

The Canadian Pediatric Society distinguishes between winter and summer months and recommends that infants be given 800 IU per day during the winter when babies get less exposure to sunshine .