With the great improvement of people’s living standards and health knowledge, the knowledge that supplementation of various vitamins can prevent nutritional deficiency diseases has been deeply spread to most families, but at the same time, there is also a misunderstanding about the supplement of nutrients, that is, cod liver oil is a nutrient, and the more supplement of cod liver oil, the better. Be aware that vitamin deficiency can cause disease, but excessive supplementation can also cause disease.
1. What is cod liver oil? What is its effect?
The main components of cod liver oil are vitamin A and D.
The main function of vitamin A is to maintain normal growth, reproduction, vision, epithelial tissue and anti-infection immune function. When vitamin A is deficient, it can cause: bone growth retardation in children; enamel cell development in teeth is affected, teeth are not sound; epithelial tissue structure is damaged; immune function is low, which is easy to cause various infections in the respiratory tract, digestive tract and urinary tract.
The main function of vitamin D is to promote the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the intestinal mucosa and the reabsorption of calcium and phosphorus by renal tubules. Vitamin D deficiency can cause: the absorption of calcium and phosphorus through the intestinal tract is reduced, and the calcification of bone-like tissue is impaired; rickets, characterized by scariness, sweating, irritability and bone changes.
Vitamins A and D are fat soluble vitamins. Vitamin A is found in the liver of animals, especially in fish liver, followed by milk and eggs. The other is in the form of carotene in food, such as carrots, tomatoes, beans and green leafy vegetables, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver.
Vitamin D is mainly found in the liver of animals, especially in marine fish. In addition, 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin can also be converted into vitamin D under the action of ultraviolet. The body takes vitamin D from sunlight and food.
It can be seen that cod liver oil is not the only source of vitamin A and D for children.
2. Under what circumstances does the baby need to supplement cod liver oil?
Cod liver oil should be supplemented in the following cases:
If the breast milk is insufficient or the egg yolk, animal liver and other foods rich in vitamin A and D, as well as vegetables and fruits rich in carotene are not added in time after weaning, or if the baby suffers from chronic diarrhea, hepatobiliary disease and other diseases that affect the absorption of vitamin A and D, or if the baby suffers from chronic consumptive disease that increases the consumption of vitamin A and D, or if the baby lacks sunshine, and if the baby grows too fast, the demand will increase Many other factors can cause vitamin A and or D deficiency.
The content of vitamin A in milk is higher than that in milk. If the milk mother has sufficient nutrition and a balanced diet, most of vitamin A in milk can meet the needs of infants. However, vitamin D is less in breast milk and cow’s milk. Therefore, from 2-3 weeks after birth, infants fed either human milk or cow’s milk must take 400 units of vitamin D every day for 2-3 consecutive years, especially for preterm infants, twins and children with the above-mentioned factors causing vitamin A and D deficiency, they need additional vitamin A and D supplements.
After the age of 2 or 3, the growth rate of children slows down, the variety of diet and outdoor activities increase, and there is generally no need to add additional cod liver oil.
3. Is it better to add more cod liver oil?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin A and vitamin D is 2500-5000 units and 400-800 units respectively. If you take a large dose in a short time, or take too much vitamin A and D daily for a long time, you can cause poisoning. Poisoning symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, restlessness, sweating, headache, vomiting, lethargy, joint pain, muscle pain and so on. The commercial concentrated vitamin AD drops (concentrated cod liver oil drops) contain 50000 units of vitamin A and 5000 units of vitamin D per gram, and about 30 drops per gram, so 3-5 drops per day is enough.
Therefore, when we feed all kinds of infant formula and fortified food, we must carefully read the content of vitamin A and D in the formula, and pay attention to the total amount of daily intake of infants, including from all kinds of vitamin-fortified food, to avoid poisoning caused by excessive dosage.