Our Teddy Bear's Journey

Theodore was born with renal failure. This is his story.

Fish oil, Lying Liars, and Teddy’s Vitamin D status

on March 24, 2014

I’m ready to believe that most of the natural parenting community claiming to have raised their kid’s vitamin D level with just fish oil are all lying about it, and possibly never had their kid’s Vitamin D levels checked in the first place.

Alright, I’m exaggerating a little.

And I’ll grant you that one experience is not statistically significant.

But after buying all the “you can raise vitamin D levels with just fish oil” information that’s “out there,” and after learning that Teddy’s Vitamin D levels were once again quite low, and after being asked by Nephrology to put him on a Vitamin D supplement, I asked if I could use fish oil instead of something more artificial. I received a somewhat unenthusiastic response, but it wasn’t “no,” so we went online and bought what I swear is the most expensive brand of fish oil ever in the universe.

(Blue Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil. It’s what everyone I know who uses fish oil recommended, the liars.)

So, after an initial “working up to the full dose” period, I’ve been giving him 5 mL on more or less a daily basis. I’ve had fish oil spilled on me. I’ve had fish oil back out of his feeding tube on me. I”ve had him accidentally squirt it out of the syringe onto himself. We’ve spent a goodly portion of the last 3 months smelling like fishmongers.

What did we get for all that money and effort? Literally nothing. In December, his Vit D was 15. In March, his Vit D was 15. Three months of smelling like I work down at the docks, 3 months of making sure he doesn’t put that syringe in his mouth (makes him gag and vomit, every time), 3 months of spending the GDP of a small country on fish oil. For nothing.

So, that was awesome.

I can’t give him MORE fish oil, because he’s already getting quite a bit of Vitamin A from the sweet potato and squash in his diet (which are non-negotiable with me, they’re calorie-dense and we need those calories).

So, fine, I concede defeat. We’re switching to Carlson’s Vitamin D.

So, internet. Here you have it. A blog that defies the conventional wisdom shared among those who like to do things with whole foods and stuff like that. Fish oil will not reliably raise Vitamin D levels.

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