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Paediatr Int Child Health. 2012 Feb;32(1):3-13. doi: 10.1179/1465328111Y.0000000024.

Prevention of vitamin D deficiency in mothers and infants worldwide - a paradigm shift.

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Global Health Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati, 3333 Burnet Avenue, MLC 2048, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Vitamin D deficiency in mothers and infants is a global health disorder despite recognition that it is preventable. Recent data support the theory that vitamin D deficiency in adults and children may increase the risk of infections and auto-immune diseases. In most cases, vitamin D deficiency is caused by sunlight deprivation and inadequate corrective vitamin D intake. There is a strong mother/infant vitamin D relationship that affects vitamin D status both in utero and in infancy. Recognition that vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide mother/infant health problem is a basis on which to modify public health strategies to reduce the burden of disease and improve maternal and child vitamin D nutrition. This review provides an update on vitamin D function and the global scope and implications of vitamin D deficiency as it relates to pregnancy and infancy. It also addresses a combined strategy to prevent vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, lactation and infancy.

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