VITALITY trial: protocol for a randomised controlled trial to establish the role of postnatal vitamin D supplementation in infant immune health

BMJ Open. 2015 Dec 16;5(12):e009377. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009377.


Introduction: Postnatal vitamin D supplementation may be associated with a reduction in IgE-mediated food allergy, lower respiratory tract infections and improved bone health. Countries in the Northern hemisphere recommend universal infant vitamin D supplementation to optimise early vitamin D levels, despite the absence of large trials proving safety or efficacy for any disease outcome. With the aim of determining the clinical and cost-effectiveness of daily vitamin D supplementation in breastfed infants from age 6-8 weeks to 12 months of age, we have started a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of daily 400 IU vitamin D supplementation during the first year of life, VITALITY.

Methods nd analysis: Infants (n=3012) who are fully breastfed and not receiving vitamin D supplementation will be recruited at the time of their first immunisation, from council-led immunisation clinics throughout metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. The primary outcome is challenge-proven food allergy at 12 months of age. Secondary outcomes are food sensitisation (positive skin prick test), number of lower respiratory infections (through hospital linkage), moderately-severe and persistent eczema (by history and examination) and vitamin D deficiency (serum vitamin D <50 nmol/L) at age 12 months. The trial is underway and the first 130 participants have been recruited.

Ethics and dissemination: The VITALITY study is approved by the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Human Research Ethics Committee (#34168). Outcomes will be disseminated through publication and will be presented at scientific conferences.

Trial registration numbers: ANZCTR12614000334606 and NCT02112734; pre-results.


Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eczema / drug therapy*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Research Design
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ANZCTR12614000334606