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Decreased BMI and Increased Height in Peri-Natal Vitamin D Supplementation


Nutrients . 2021 Feb 5;13(2):524. doi: 10.3390/nu13020524.

Study Summary

This SR/MA on Vitamin D supplementation during early life of 3960 participants from 11 RCT’s found Vitamin D during pregnancy or infancy was associated with increased infant length at 1 year (MD 0.29, 95% CI, 0.03, 0.54; I2 = 0%) and with lower BMI at 3-6 years of age (BMI) (kg/m2) (MD -0.19, 95% CI -0.34, -0.04; I2 = 0%). Vitamin D supplementation during early life was not observed to be associated with children's bone, lean or fat mass.


Vitamin D Supplementation during pregnancy and infancy improves length and BMI in early childhood.


The CDC recommends all breastfed and partially breastfed infants receive 400 IU/day of Vitamin D and state those on formula do not. They also note that children 12-24 months of age need 600 IU/day, which may be obtained through diet or supplementation.

How much Vitamin D is in things infants and children consume? Breast milk contains about 22 IU/Liter, formula 62 IU/5 ounces and cow’s milk, 100 IU/8 ounces. So, even formula fed infants need over 30 ounces of formula a day to get to 400 IU, and those over 12 months need 48 ounces of cow’s milk per day to get to 600 IU.

Does vitamin D supplementation improve weight and height in children and adults? We do not know but do have some observational data showing Vitamin D supplementation improves weight loss success in adults. Till we have long-term systematic review level data, a very low risk intervention like Vitamin D supplementation continues to make good sense for all infants, children, and adults.

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