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Eur J Nutr. 2018 May 18. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1717-y. [Epub ahead of print]

No improvement in vitamin D status in German infants and adolescents between 2009 and 2014 despite public recommendations to increase vitamin D intake in 2012.

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Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Wilhelmstr. 20, 35392, Giessen, Germany.
Pediatric Group Practice KIDS 4.0, Melllinghoferstr. 256, 45475, Mülheim, Germany.
AK Statistics, Kreppe 2, 85276, Pfaffenhofen, Germany.
HiPP Werk Georg Hipp OHG, Georg-Hipp-Straße 7, 85276, Pfaffenhofen, Germany.



Vitamin D is a key component for the growth and development of children and adolescents, influencing a multitude of functions. Worldwide epidemiological studies have shown that minimum vitamin D blood levels of ≥ 20.0 ng/ml, often defined as vitamin D sufficiency by international and national nutrition and pediatric organizations, are often not met in practice. In 2012 the D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) nutrition societies increased their vitamin D intake recommendations fourfold from 200 IU (5 µg) to 800 IU (20 µg) per day. The outcome of this study will contribute to answering the question as to whether the new recommendations for increased vitamin D intake improve the highly prevalent vitamin D deficiency status in German children and adolescents.


For this 6-year study (January 2009-December 2014) carried out in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, healthy children and adolescents (n = 1929, age range 1-17 years, median age 11.0 years, 46.9% female) consulting a pediatric group practice (KIDS4.0) were recruited. Serum 25(OH)D determinations were performed using a competitive chemoluminescence immunoassay (CLIA, DiaSorin).


The median serum vitamin D values for each year from 2009 to 2014 were 18.4, 13.0, 20.8, 16.4, 19.4 and 14.9 ng/ml. The summarized median 25(OH)D serum concentrations between the two time periods 2009-2012 and 2013-2014 after increasing recommendations for vitamin D intake did not show a significant difference (17.0 versus 16.8 ng/ml).


The increased D-A-CH recommendations for vitamin D intake had no influence on vitamin D levels in children and adolescents. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has not changed compared to previous studies.


Adolescents; Children; German infants; Prevalence; Vitamin D deficiency


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