No need for high-dose vitamin D in infants: study

May 29, 2018

Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Tripling the dose of vitamin D supplementation for babies does not make their bones any stronger by age two, according to a study in Finland published Tuesday.

Vitamin D is essential because it helps the body absorb calcium. It is naturally produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but as many as 40 percent of Europeans do not get enough of it, according to a 2016 study.

Without sufficient Vitamin D, people are at risk of rickets, a weakened bone condition that may result in stunted growth and bowed legs.

Thinking that more D might be better for babies, researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial of 975 healthy infants in Finland, assigning some to receive the recommended daily dose of 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D and the rest to get 1,200 IU.

By the age of 24 months, however, they found "no difference in or incidence of infections," said the report in the JAMA Pediatrics.

"This study involving 975 healthy children is, to our knowledge, the first large randomized clinical trial evaluating vitamin D supplementation from infancy to early childhood," said the report.

Noting that the majority of infants studied were not vitamin D deficient to begin with, the higher dose "provides no additional benefits for strength or for parent-reported incidence of infections during the first two years of life."

Foods are commonly supplemented with vitamin D in Finland and many western countries, therefore "supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D3 daily seems adequate to ensure vitamin D sufficiency in children younger than two," the study concluded.

A separate study in the same issue of JAMA Pediatrics looked at the safety of vitamin D of up to 2,000 IU daily in pregnant women.

Researchers did a systematic review and meta-analysis of 24 previously conducted that included more than 5,400 women.

They found that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of infants being small for their gestational age.

When a pregnant woman takes Vitamin D, her baby tends to show improved growth during infancy without any higher risks of death or abnormalities, said the report.

Explore further: Study finds vitamin D supplement decreases wheezing for black preterm infants

More information: JAMA Pediatrics (2018). jamanetwork.com/journals/jamap … pediatrics.2018.0602

JAMA Pediatrics (2018). jamanetwork.com/journals/jamap … pediatrics.2018.0302

Related Stories

Study finds vitamin D supplement decreases wheezing for black preterm infants

May 22, 2018
African American infants born prematurely are at higher risk for recurrent wheezing. This condition can cause the baby discomfort and is a risk factor for developing asthma later in life. There are no widely-accepted therapies ...

Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease

April 5, 2017
Results of a large randomized trial indicate that monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

Calcium, vitamin D don't seem to reduce fracture risk in seniors

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—For community-dwelling older adults, supplementation with calcium, vitamin D, or both does not reduce the incidence of fractures, according to a review published in the Dec. 26 issue of the Journal of the American ...

Review: Little evidence on vitamin D-allergy association

July 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Vitamin D supplementation seems not to prevent allergies in pregnant women, breastfeeding women, or infants, though there is very little evidence about the association between vitamin D and allergic diseases, ...

Increasing nursing mothers' vitamin D levels may benefit babies

August 30, 2016
New research from the University of Otago has found that giving breastfeeding mothers monthly high-dose vitamin D supplements may be a possible way to improve their babies' vitamin D status.

Higher doses of vitamin D may boost preemies' bone health

October 19, 2017
(HealthDay)—Higher doses of vitamin D can improve the bone health of premature babies, new research suggests.

Recommended for you

Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria

October 18, 2018
A recent study completed at the University of Helsinki investigated the amount and quality of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in breast milk and gut of mother-infant pairs. The findings have been published in the journal Nature ...

Inflammation in the womb may explain why some babies are more prone to sepsis after birth

October 9, 2018
Each year 15 million infants are born preterm and face high risks of short- and long-term complications, including sepsis, severe inflammation of the gut, and neurodevelopmental disorders. A new report in the American Journal ...

Dummies not to blame for common speech disorder in kids

October 9, 2018
New University of Sydney research shows bottles, dummies, and thumb sucking in the early years of life do not cause or worsen phonological impairment, the most common type of speech disorder in children.

'Genes are not destiny' when it comes to weight

October 9, 2018
A healthy home environment could help offset children's genetic susceptibilities to obesity, according to new research led by UCL.

Old drug could have new use helping sick premature babies

October 8, 2018
Researchers from The University of Western Australia, King Edward Memorial Hospital and Curtin University are investigating whether an old drug could be used to help very sick premature babies.

Insufficient sleep associated with risky behavior in teens

October 1, 2018
Adolescents require 8-10 hours of sleep at night for optimal health, according to sleep experts, yet more than 70 percent of high school students get less than that. Previous studies have demonstrated that insufficient sleep ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.