Send to

Choose Destination

See 1 citation found by title matching your search:

Pediatrics. 2013 Jan;131(1):e144-51. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-1793. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

The relationship between cow's milk and stores of vitamin D and iron in early childhood.

Author information

The Applied Health Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To examine the association between cow's milk intake on both vitamin D and iron stores in healthy urban preschoolers.


Healthy children 2 to 5 years of age were recruited from December 2008 through December 2010 through the TARGet Kids! practice-based research network. Cow's milk intake was measured by parental report. Vitamin D and iron stores were measured by using serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and ferritin. Bivariate multivariable linear regression was used to examine the effect of cow's milk intake simultaneously on 25-hydroxyvitamin D and serum ferritin. Analyses were stratified by important clinical variables including skin pigmentation, bottle feeding, vitamin D supplementation, and season.


Among 1311 children, increasing cow's milk consumption was associated with decreasing serum ferritin (P < .0001) and increasing 25-hydroxyvitamin D (P ≤ .0001). Two cups (500 mL) of cow's milk per day maintained 25-hydroxyvitamin D >75 nmol/L with minimal negative effect on serum ferritin for most children. Children with darker skin pigmentation not receiving vitamin D supplementation during the winter required 3 to 4 cups of cow's milk per day to maintain 25-hydroxyvitamin D >75 nmol/L. Cow's milk intake among children using a bottle did not increase 25-hydroxyvitamin D and resulted in more dramatic decreases in serum ferritin.


There is a trade-off between increasing 25-hydroxyvitamin D and decreasing serum ferritin with increasing milk intake. Two cups of cow's milk per day appears sufficient to maintain healthy vitamin D and iron stores for most children. Wintertime vitamin D supplementation was particularly important among children with darker skin pigmentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center