Prevention of vitamin D deficiency in mothers and infants worldwide - a paradigm shift

Paediatr Int Child Health. 2012 Feb;32(1):3-13. doi: 10.1179/1465328111Y.0000000024.


Vitamin D deficiency in mothers and infants is a global health disorder despite recognition that it is preventable. Recent data support the theory that vitamin D deficiency in adults and children may increase the risk of infections and auto-immune diseases. In most cases, vitamin D deficiency is caused by sunlight deprivation and inadequate corrective vitamin D intake. There is a strong mother/infant vitamin D relationship that affects vitamin D status both in utero and in infancy. Recognition that vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide mother/infant health problem is a basis on which to modify public health strategies to reduce the burden of disease and improve maternal and child vitamin D nutrition. This review provides an update on vitamin D function and the global scope and implications of vitamin D deficiency as it relates to pregnancy and infancy. It also addresses a combined strategy to prevent vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, lactation and infancy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control*


  • Vitamin D