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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2009 Aug;21(4):465-71. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e32832da096.

Vitamin D and adolescents: what do we know?

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Adolescent Clinic, The Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.



Vitamin D has become the focus of many studies in recent years. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many chronic illnesses other then the well known musculoskeletal complications. In this review, we summarize new data regarding causes, prevalence, and complications of vitamin deficiency in adolescents and discuss them in the context of what is known in adults. In addition, we emphasize adolescence as a unique period for growth and development, and distinguish the consequences of vitamin D deficiency in young teenage patients from those in adults with regard to the presentation and potential health implications.


Vitamin D deficiency is common among both healthy and ill adolescents worldwide, even in sunny countries. Although much of the data relating vitamin D status to biological markers and complications has been obtained in adults, the information emerging from studies of adolescents supports the premise that maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D during the teenage years can improve long-term health outcomes. There are currently knowledge gaps regarding the most well tolerated and appropriate supplementation regimen to prevent vitamin D deficiency among adolescents.


Further studies are needed to examine the implications of vitamin D deficiency among adolescents and the most appropriate treatment regimens to prevent this problem. There are sufficient data to support the importance of educating, preventing, and treating vitamin D deficiency in adolescents to improve their long-term health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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