Bone mineral density at age 7 years does not associate with adherence to vitamin D supplementation guidelines in infancy or vitamin D status in pregnancy and childhood: an Odense Child Cohort study

Br J Nutr. 2021 Nov 28;126(10):1466-1477. doi: 10.1017/S0007114521000301. Epub 2021 Jan 26.


Vitamin D supplementation in infancy is recommended to prevent rickets. At the population level, its effects on bone mineralisation are largely unknown. We aimed to explore whether adherence to national vitamin D supplementation guidelines (10 µg/d up to the age of 2 years), supplementation at the ages of 5 and 7 years, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) at various time points associated with bone mineral density (BMD) at the age of 7 years in the Odense Child Cohort, Denmark (n 1194). High adherence was defined as supplementation with 10 µg of vitamin D 6-7 times per week during ≥80 % of the observation time. s-25(OH)D was analysed using LC-MS/MS. Total-body-less-head (TBLH) BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. At the median age of 18·1 months, 53·9 % (n 475/881) reported high adherence. The median s-25(OH)D was 64·7, 78·8, 46·0 and 71·8 nmol/l in early pregnancy, late pregnancy, cord blood and at 5 years, respectively. The mean TBLH BMD at the median age of 7·1 years was 0·613 (SD 0·049) g/cm2 (z-score +0·363 (SD 0·824)). In adjusted analyses, vitamin D supplementation up to 18 months, and at 5 and 7 years, was not associated with TBLH BMD. Similarly, no robust associations were found between TBLH BMD and s-25(OH)D at any time point. No associations were found for TBLH bone mineral concentration or bone area. In this population with relatively high s-25(OH)D concentrations, no consistent associations were found between adherence to vitamin D supplementation recommendations or vitamin D status in pregnancy or childhood, and bone mineralisation at the age of 7 years.

Keywords: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; Bone mineral density; Children; Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; Vitamin D supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pregnancy
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency*
  • Vitamins


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D