Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Vitamin D Deficiency in Young Children

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Vitamin D Deficiency in Young Children

Article excerpt

Vitamin D deficiency may be more common than we once thought. The recent medical literature is full of reports on the consequences of vitamin D deficiency and its beneficial effects in preventing or treating a variety of maladies.

Although the focus of most research has been on bone disease, vitamin D deficiency in adults has been linked to conditions as diverse as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, depression, and schizophrenia. Overall, it is estimated that as many as one billion people have low levels of vitamin D.

To examine vitamin D status in young children, investigators from Children's Hospital in Boston sought to determine vitamin D levels in 247 infants (age, birth to one year) and 133 toddlers (one to two years of age).

They established that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 12 percent, and 40 percent of children had suboptimal vitamin D levels. The prevalence of deficiency was similar in infants and toddlers and did not vary by skin pigmentation. …

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