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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2007 Aug;32(4):770-7.

Bones and beyond: an update on the role of vitamin D in child and adolescent health in Canada.

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Program in Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Room W2041, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Knowledge regarding the physiological role and dietary requirements of vitamin D has dramatically expanded over the past several decades. The "new" vitamin D is not only a mediator of calcium homeostasis, but also has important immunomodulatory, anti-microbial, and anti-proliferative actions. Amidst the growing interest in vitamin D as a mediator of many chronic diseases of adulthood such as cancer and type II diabetes, less attention has focused on the implications of the new understanding of vitamin D for child and adolescent health. This article reviews the definition of vitamin D insufficiency (VDI) as it applies to children and adolescents, the current vitamin D status of Canadian children and adolescents, pediatric conditions that may be related to VDI, and the evidence base for current dietary recommendations for vitamin D intake. Pharmacokinetic studies and epidemiologic research that incorporates clinical and functional outcomes are needed to clarify the role of vitamin D in growth and development and the specific dietary vitamin D requirements among Canadian children and adolescents.

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