Vitamin d in the healthy European paediatric population

Christian Braegger, Cristina Campoy, Virginie Colomb, Tamas Decsi, Magnus Domellof, Mary Fewtrell, Iva Hojsak, Walter Mihatsch, Christian Molgaard, Raanan Shamir, Dominique Turck, Johannes Van Goudoever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

219 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, reports suggesting a resurgence of vitamin D deficiency in the Western world, combined with various proposed health benefits for vitamin D supplementation, have resulted in increased interest from health care professionals, the media, and the public. The aim of this position paper is to summarise the published data on vitamin D intake and prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the healthy European paediatric population, to discuss the health benefits of vitamin D and to provide recommendations for the prevention of vitamin D deficiency in this population. Vitamin D plays a key role in calcium and phosphate metabolism and is essential for bone health. There is insufficient evidence from interventional studies to support vitamin D supplementation for other health benefits in infants, children, and adolescents. The pragmatic use of a serum concentration >50 nmol/L to indicate sufficiency and a serum concentration <25 nmol/L to indicate severe deficiency is recommended. Vitamin D deficiency occurs commonly among healthy European infants, children, and adolescents, especially in certain risk groups, including breast-fed infants, not adhering to the present recommendation for vitamin D supplementation, children and adolescents with dark skin living in northern countries, children and adolescents without adequate sun exposure, and obese children. Infants should receive an oral supplementation of 400 IU/day of vitamin D. The implementation should be promoted and supervised by paediatricians and other health care professionals. Healthy children and adolescents should be encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle associated with a normal body mass index, including a varied diet with vitamin D-containing foods (fish, eggs, dairy products) and adequate outdoor activities with associated sun exposure. For children in risk groups identified above, an oral supplementation of vitamin D must be considered beyond 1 year of age. National authorities should adopt policies aimed at improving vitamin D status using measures such as dietary recommendations, food fortification, vitamin D supplementation, and judicious sun exposure, depending on local circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-701
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2013

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • children
  • infants
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • vitamin D supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology

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  • Cite this

    Braegger, C., Campoy, C., Colomb, V., Decsi, T., Domellof, M., Fewtrell, M., Hojsak, I., Mihatsch, W., Molgaard, C., Shamir, R., Turck, D., & Van Goudoever, J. (2013). Vitamin d in the healthy European paediatric population. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 56(6), 692-701. https://doi.org/10.1097/MPG.0b013e31828f3c05