The D-lightful vitamin D for child health

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2012 Jan;36(1 Suppl):9S-19S. doi: 10.1177/0148607111430189. Epub 2011 Dec 16.


Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is common in children. Vitamin D deficiency is defined as a 25-hydroxyvitamin D <20 ng/mL and insufficiency as 21-29 ng/mL. The major sources of vitamin D are sun exposure, diet, and supplements. In young children, vitamin D deficiency causes a mineralization defect of the skeleton, resulting in rickets. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many chronic diseases, including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, infectious diseases, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. In utero vitamin D deficiency increases risk for preeclampsia and the need for a cesarean section. Children living at higher latitudes and who are presumed to be at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis later in life. The Institute of Medicine recommends that children 0-1 year and 1-18 years need 400 and 600 IU/d, respectively, of vitamin D for maximal skeletal health. The Endocrine Society's Clinical Guidelines recommended that to prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency, children 0-1 year and 1-18 years need 400-1000 and 600-1000 IU/d, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rickets / drug therapy
  • Rickets / etiology
  • Rickets / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control*


  • Vitamin D