Adelaide researchers are calling on mums and their babies to help find out whether South Australian newborns need Vitamin D supplements.
Dr Merryn Netting, a Senior Dietitian at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) and a Principal Investigator from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) said her team are looking for mums and babies to help with their research.
“Along with many other important functions in the body, Vitamin D is essential for developing strong bones but it’s hard for babies to obtain enough from the food we eat,” Dr Netting said.
“In the past babies got vitamin D from the sun but we now know that exposing infants and young children during their first year can increase their chance of getting skin cancer later on.
“It’s a Catch 22 for mothers, because while it’s recommended that new babies are breastfed exclusively up until six months old, breastmilk is usually a poor source of Vitamin D.”
The study will look to strategies used to boost Vitamin D in women and babies overseas.
“In countries such as Canada and the United States, health authorities recommend that all breastfed infants are given vitamin D drops to prevent deficiency and reduce the risk of bone diseases,” Dr Netting said.
“We want to know if babies born in SA may need Vitamin D supplements too.”
The Vitamin D in Infant Blood and Breastmilk Study, or DIBBS, will measure Vitamin D levels in breast fed or formula fed infants between the age of four and six months.
The Vitamin D levels of mothers who are breastfeeding will also be measured.
DIBBS is one of many studies commencing from the newly established National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Targeted Nutrition to Improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes.
The CRE is an important partnership between SAHMRI, WCHN, SA Health and the University of Adelaide.
Mums who are interested in taking part in this study are encouraged to call 08 8161 7512 or email vitaminDstudy@sahmri.com.