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Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;25(4):573-84. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2011.06.010.

The role of vitamin D in paediatric bone health.

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MRC Mineral Metabolism Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, York Road, Parktown 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Recently there has been renewed interest in the role of vitamin D in paediatric bone health. Its role in the development of rickets and hypocalcaemia in infants and young children, in particular, in many part of the world is well known, and the importance of the prevention of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and lactation has been highlighted. Less clear are the possible effects that maintaining maternal vitamin D sufficiency might have on foetal and early infant growth and bone development. There is little evidence to suggest that maintaining childhood vitamin D status well above that necessary to prevent rickets has an effect on intestinal calcium absorption or on peak bone mass. Further studies are needed in these areas prior to definitive conclusions are drawn about the optimal vitamin D requirements and circulating 25(OH)D concentrations for foetal, infant and childhood bone health.

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