Effect of race and diet on human-milk vitamin D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Am J Dis Child. 1985 Nov;139(11):1134-7. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140130072032.


Vitamin D-deficiency rickets continues to be reported in infants fed human milk, and the importance of human milk as a source of vitamin D for infants is controversial. Furthermore, effects of race and of normally consumed maternal vitamin D intake on human-milk vitamin D have not been reported. Milk, serum, and three-day-diet diaries were obtained from 25 mother-infant pairs. Human-milk vitamins D3 and D2 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 were lower in blacks vs whites, whereas 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 did not differ. Total-milk vitamin D, but not 25-hydroxyvitamin D, correlated with vitamin D intake. Milk vitamin D2 specifically was correlated with vitamin D intake even after controlling for race. Infant serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D did not correlate with milk vitamin D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D; we speculate that the contribution of vitamin D from human milk in these infants is insignificant relative to the contribution from sunshine exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Breast Feeding
  • Calcifediol / analysis*
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Cholecalciferol / analysis
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Diet*
  • Ergocalciferols / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ergocalciferols / analysis
  • Ergocalciferols / blood
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Milk, Human / analysis*
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / analysis*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Ergocalciferols
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2
  • Calcifediol