According to the results of a new study, children lacking Vitamin D may be more susceptible to food allergies. Researchers working at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine examined blood tests of 6,500 people, correlating their sensitivity to a range of allergens with their vitamin levels. Although no link was found between adults’ vitamin intake and allergies, a correlation was found in the blood of children and teens. Study participants under the age of 21 who had lower than average levels of Vitamin D exhibited increased sensitivity to 11 of the 17 allergens tested.

The researchers studied a range of allergens, including environmental allergies such as oak and dog and food allergens such as peanuts. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as fewer than 15ng of Vitamin D in each milliliter of blood. Children with this deficiency were 2.4 times as likely to exhibit sensitivity to peanuts than those with higher levels of Vitamin D in their bloodstream.

The researchers are not sure why Vitamin D appears to be linked to children’s susceptibility to developing allergies, while adults with vitamin D deficiencies do not seem susceptible. They recommend that children receive the daily recommendation for vitamin D, which is at least 400 International Units (IU) for kids and teens, according to the USDA. A cup of whole milk contains about 25 percent of a child’s recommended daily intake.

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