(Photo credit: David D)

(Photo credit: David D)

Breastfeeding children after their first birthday does not provide adequate levels of vitamin D, even if the child is also eating solid foods, according to researchers. They recommend these children should take a vitamin D supplement to prevent health problems, such as rickets.

Currently the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends children take vitamin D supplements daily during their first year of life.

The study found children have a six per cent increased risk of vitamin D deficiency for every month they are breastfed after their first year of life. Children had a 16 per cent chance of being vitamin D deficient at age two, and 29 per cent chance at ages three.

The research team measured vitamin D levels of 2,500 children between the ages of one and five years old.

Original research paper published in the American Journal of Public Health on February 18, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Dr. Jonathon Maguire, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario