Vitamin D-fortified milk achieves the targeted serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration without affecting that of parathyroid hormone in New Zealand toddlers

Lisa A Houghton, Andrew R Gray, Ewa A Szymlek-Gay, Anne-Louise M Heath, Elaine L Ferguson
Journal of Nutrition 2011, 141 (10): 1840-6
For young children, the level of vitamin D required to ensure that most achieve targeted serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] ≥50 nmol/L has not been studied. We aimed to investigate the effect of vitamin D-fortified milk on serum 25(OH)D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations and to examine the dose-response relationship between vitamin D intake from study milks and serum 25(OH)D concentrations in healthy toddlers aged 12-20 mo living in Dunedin, New Zealand (latitude 46°S). Data from a 20-wk, partially blinded, randomized trial that investigated the effect of providing red meat or fortified toddler milk on the iron, zinc, iodine, and vitamin D status in young New Zealand children (n = 181; mean age 17 mo) were used. Adherence to the intervention was assessed by 7-d weighed diaries at wk 2, 7, 11, 15, and 19. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was measured at baseline and wk 20. Mean vitamin D intake provided by fortified milk was 3.7 μg/d (range, 0-10.4 μg/d). After 20 wk, serum 25(OH)D concentrations but not PTH were significantly different in the milk groups. The prevalence of having a serum 25(OH)D <50 nmol/L remained relatively unchanged at 43% in the meat group, whereas it significantly decreased to between 11 and 15% in those consuming fortified study milk. In New Zealand, vitamin D intake in young children is minimal. Our findings indicate that habitual consumption of vitamin D-fortified milk providing a mean intake of nearly 4 μg/d was effective in achieving adequate year-round serum 25(OH)D for most children.

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