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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hypovitaminosis D and vitamin D deficiency in exclusively breast-feeding infants and their mothers in summer: a justification for vitamin D supplementation of breast-feeding infants

Adekunle Dawodu, Mukesh Agarwal, Moshaddeque Hossain, Jose Kochiyil, Reem Zayed
Journal of Pediatrics 2003, 142 (2): 169-73
12584539

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in exclusively breast-feeding infants and their mothers in a community where maternal sunshine exposure is low.

STUDY DESIGN: Serum levels of calcium, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase, 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OHD), and intact parathyroid hormone were measured in 90 unsupplemented healthy term breast-feeding Arab/South Asian infants and their mothers in summer. Maternal dietary vitamin D intake was also estimated.

RESULTS: The median age of infants was 6 weeks. The median serum 25-OHD concentrations in mothers (8.6 ng/mL) and infants (4.6 ng/mL) were low, and 61% of the mothers and 82% of the 78 infants tested had hypovitaminosis D (serum 25-OHD <10 ng/mL). The infants with hypovitaminosis D had elevated serum alkaline phosphatase and a tendency to higher serum intact parathyroid hormone levels. The average daily maternal vitamin D intake from commercial milk was 88 IU.

CONCLUSIONS: Hypovitaminosis D is common in summer in exclusively breast-feeding infants and their mothers. The results provide justification for vitamin D supplementation of breast-feeding infants and mothers in the United Arab Emirates. Low vitamin D intake probably contributed to low maternal vitamin D status.

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