Putting an end to the worries of many mothers, study has finally proven that for most kids, a daily consumption of two cups of cow’s milk will sufficiently provide the recommended quantity of Vitamin-D and maintain requisite levels of iron in the blood.
Dr. Jonathan Maguire form Target Kids!, Toronto who also led the study said that parents of many toddlers pose the question of how much milk their kids should consume for which most doctors do not have a specific answer.
This confusion is said to have risen from recommendations by American Academy of Pediatrics-AAP. On one hand, they recommend two cups of milk a day for children aged between two to eight years while on the other, they recommend vitamin-D supplements if the children consume less than four cups of milk per day.
Another reason is that earlier studies showed that cow's milk increased vitamin –D in children but reduced iron levels. For the study, Maguire and his team surveyed parents of almost 1,311 kids aged between two to five years and collected their blood samples. The survey conducted using records maintained between Dec 2008 and Dec 2010 showed that consumption of 250 ml of milk was linked to an increase in vitamin D level by 5 nanomoles per liter in the blood of kids and a marginal decrease in their iron levels.
Researchers said that all children can not be recommended to consume two cups of cow's milk per day. They said that darker skinned kids should consume three to four cups of milk per day during winter since their bodies produce lesser vitamin-D naturally through sun-exposure.
Patsy Brannon from Cornell University, New York commented that while two cups of milk is consistent with recommendations by US Department of Agriculture for two to three year olds, older children may need 2.5 cups. An average cup of milk has 100 IU of vitamin while recommended intake for infants, kids and teens by AAP is 400 IU per day.
Hence, she recommended intake of supplements to make good the shortfall. She added that people can also opt for other foods like fortified cereals and grains for vitamin supply.