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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effects of ethnicity and vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and changes in bone mineral content in infants

Steven A Abrams1*, Keli M Hawthorne1, Stefanie P Rogers1, Penni D Hicks1 and Thomas O Carpenter2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA

2 Departments of Pediatrics (Endocrinology) and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

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BMC Pediatrics 2012, 12:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-6

Published: 16 January 2012

Abstract

Background

To evaluate the effects on serum 25(OH)D and bone mineralization of supplementation of breast-fed Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasian infants with vitamin D in infants in Houston, Texas.

Methods

We measured cord serum 25(OH)D levels, bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD) and their changes over 3 months of life with 400 IU/day of vitamin D3 supplementation.

Results

Cord serum 25(OH)D was significantly lower in Hispanic than non-Hispanic Caucasian infants (16.4 ± 6.5 ng/mL, n = 27, vs 22.3 ± 9.4 n = 22, p = 0.013). Among 38 infants who completed a 3 month vitamin D supplementation intervention, provision of 400 IU/day of vitamin D increased final 25(OH)D to a higher level in non-Hispanic Caucasian compared to Hispanic infants. There was no significant relationship between cord serum 25(OH)D and BMC or BMD in the first week of life (n = 49) or after 3 months of vitamin D supplementation.

Conclusion

Low cord 25(OH)D levels are seen in Hispanic infants, but their functional significance is uncertain related to bone health in a southern US setting. Daily vitamin D intake of 400 IU during the first months of life appears adequate to increase serum 25(OH)D and support BMC increases despite low initial 25(OH)D levels in some infants.

ClincalTrials.gov NCT00697294

Keywords:
breastfeeding; vitamin D; bone mineral content