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Adv Nutr. 2012 May 1;3(3):353-61. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000950.

Maternal vitamin D status: effect on milk vitamin D content and vitamin D status of breastfeeding infants.

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  • 1Global Child Health Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


There are increasing reports of rickets and vitamin D deficiency worldwide. Breastfeeding without adequate sunlight exposure and vitamin D supplementation are the major risk factors. In view of the drive to promote and increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding, the relationship among maternal vitamin D status, vitamin D concentration of human milk, and hence vitamin D status of breastfeeding infants deserves reassessment. This review provides current information on the interrelationship between maternal vitamin D status and the vitamin D status of the breastfeeding infant. It also reviews the results of ongoing research on the effect of high-dose maternal vitamin D supplementation alone as a possible option to prevent vitamin D deficiency in the breastfeeding mother-infant dyad.

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