Milk intake, calcium and vitamin D in pregnancy and lactation: effects on maternal, fetal and infant bone in low- and high-income countries

Ann Prentice
Nestlé Nutrition Workshop Series. Paediatric Programme 2011, 67: 1-15
Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone growth and maintenance. Among the bone-forming minerals, dietary calcium supply is close to biological requirements and may be limiting in some parts of the world where there are few rich dietary sources of calcium, particularly for children and women during pregnancy and lactation. Animal milk is a rich source of calcium and, in countries where milk is fortified with vitamin D, a contributor to dietary vitamin D intake. Current evidence indicates that, in the human, there are physiological mechanisms that support the necessary calcium fluxes across the placenta and mammary gland and that are unresponsive to increases in calcium intake. This applies across the range of dietary calcium intakes recorded in healthy individuals. In contrast, although there is unlikely to be an additional requirement for vitamin D during pregnancy and lactation, many women have poor vitamin D status. This places them at risk of osteomalacia and their infants at risk of rickets, osteomalacia, compromised skeletal growth and other outcomes. There needs to be increased awareness among policy makers, health professionals and the public about the importance of safe UVB sunshine exposure and consumption of dietary vitamin D by women of reproductive age at risk of vitamin D deficiency.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"