I’m not going to drill the point home about taking vitamin D and how we should also be sharing this vitamin with our kids. If you haven’t picked this little gem up yet, you’re obviously not going to. But did you know that vitamin D plays very closely with another vitamin?
Both vitamin D and vitamin A are needed to bind together on the nuclear receptors of our cells’ DNA. Without enough of one or the other we may experience a relative deficiency. This is why combining supplementation of vitamin D with vitamin A is a very good idea, although not normally recommended.
One of the strong benefits of vitamin A is on immune function, and studies have clearly shown that supplementation can improve immune status, especially in children, and usually in third world countries. This article takes this much further and looks at the risk of morbidity and mortality and vitamin A supplementation.
They found an overall reduction of about 25% in a child’s risk of dying from any cause with vitamin A supplementation. This is far superior to what most vaccines deliver, and indeed, the risk of measles deaths also went down in the studies.
Interestingly, the researchers looked at how the supplementation was given. Either a single dose of 100,000 IU for (ages 6-11 months) / 200,000 IU (1-5 years), doses given every 4-6 months, or smaller more frequent doses.
They were all effective, but there was some indication that the more frequent doses may have been more protective. Based on this, it would seem that giving vitamin A along with the vitamin D you and your family are already taking is a smart idea. In line with this study, a dosage of around 10,000 IU would be recommended.