25-Hydroxyvitamin D: functional outcomes in infants and young children

Frank R Greer
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008, 88 (2): 529S-533S
Vitamin D deficiency occurs in the United States in exclusively breastfed infants who have high levels of skin pigmentation, inadequate vitamin D supplementation, and insufficient sunlight exposure. I review serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and functional outcomes of vitamin deficiency in young children and breastfed and nonbreastfed infants. These outcomes include the presence or absence of vitamin D deficiency rickets, bone mineral content, and serum parathyroid hormone concentration. Daily vitamin D supplements of 400 IU/L keep serum 25(OH)D concentrations higher than 50 nmol/L and prevent rickets in infants and young children. The available evidence is not sufficient to support the use of bone mineral content or parathyroid hormone concentrations in infants and young children as functional outcomes to define deficient or sufficient levels of 25(OH)D. I therefore propose a research agenda to establish the functional definitions of vitamin D sufficiency or deficiency in infants and young children.

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