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.