Potential Micronutrient Deficiencies in the First 1000 Days of Life: The Pediatrician on the Side of the Weakest

Curr Obes Rep. 2024 Jun;13(2):338-351. doi: 10.1007/s13679-024-00554-3. Epub 2024 Mar 21.


Purpose of review: This study is to examine potential micronutrient deficiencies and any need for supplementation in children following specific diet plans in the first 1000 days of life.

Recent findings: Optimal nutrition in the first 1000 days of life has a lifelong positive impact on child development. Specific intrauterine and perinatal factors, pathological conditions, and dietary restrictions can represent potential risk factors for micronutrient deficiencies in the first 1000 days of life, which can have negative systemic consequences. Preterm and low-birth-weight infants are intrinsically at risk because of immature body systems. Children affected by cystic fibrosis are prone to malnutrition because of intestinal malabsorption. The risk of micronutrient deficiency can increase in various situations, including but not limited to children following selective dietary regimens (vegetarian and vegan diets and children affected by specific neuropsychiatric conditions) or specific dietary therapies (children affected by food allergies or specific metabolic disorders and children following restricted diet as a part of therapeutic approach, i.e., ketogenic diet for epilepsy). In light of this situation, the micronutrient status in these categories of children should be investigated in order to tailor strategies specific to the individual's metabolic needs, with a particular focus on deficiencies which can impair or delay the physical and cognitive development of children, namely, vitamin B12, vitamin D and folic acid, as well as oligo-elements such as iron, zinc, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and essential fatty acids such as omega-3. Identification of micronutrient deficiency in the first 1000 days of life and timely supplementation proves essential to prevent their long-term consequences.

Keywords: 1000 days; Exclusion diet; Insufficient micronutrients storage; Micronutrients; Micronutrients adsorption defect; Vegetarian diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Development
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Micronutrients* / deficiency
  • Nutritional Status


  • Micronutrients