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Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency

08:17 EDT 19th April 2014 | BioPortfolio


Breastfed infants living in a northern location (41 degrees N) are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency during winter. This trial is designed to determine how much supplemental vitamin D breastfed infants need to receive in order to remain free of vitamin D deficiency


It is increasingly being recognized that infants and children living at northern latitudes are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially if their skin is darkly pigmented. The study by the PI (Pediatrics 2006;118:603) was the first to demonstrate that infants with light skin pigmentation living at 41 degrees north are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. During winter (December - April) a full 78% of infants were vitamin D deficient if they did not receive vitamin D from an external source. Very few breastfed babies are currently receiving supplemental vitamin D. The recommended dose is 200 IU/day. However, there are questions about the adequacy of this dose of vitamin D for the prevention of vitamin D deficiency. The present trial is designed to determine whether a dose of 200 IU/day is effective or whether doses of 400 IU/day or 600 IU/day are required to prevent vitamin D deficiency reliably.

The trial is a randomized, prospective double-blind trial in which breastfed infants will receive 200 IU/day or 400 IU/day or 600 IU/day from 1 to 9 months of age. There will not be a placebo control group. Infants will be followed through 12 months of age. Normal term infants (birth weight >2500 g) who are born in June through November will be enrolled and randomized at 1 month of age. They will visit the study center at monthly intervals and will have capillary blood drawn at select ages. At 2 months and again in March or April whole body mineral content will be determined by DEXA. Infants will not be permitted to receive formula until 9 months of age. They may receive complementary foods beginning at 4 months of age. Vitamin D supplements will be weighed before dispensing and again when the empty and half-empty containers are returned. Study endpoints will be blood parameters and bone mineral content determined at the end of winter, i.e., between March and May 15. Blood parameters include 25-OHD, parathyroid hormone, calcium, alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, N-telopeptide, ferritin and transferrin receptor. 180 infants will be enrolled at 1 month of age in the expectation that 48 per group will complete the trial to at least 9 months of age.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Dose Comparison, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Prevention


Vitamin D Deficiency


Vitamin D drops, 200 or 400 or 600 IU/day


MTF, 2501 Crosspark Rd
United States




Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Results (where available)

View Results


Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as RICKETS in children and OSTEOMALACIA in adults. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1406)

A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN E in the diet, characterized by posterior column and spinocerebellar tract abnormalities, areflexia, ophthalmoplegia, and disturbances of gait, proprioception, and vibration. In premature infants vitamin E deficiency is associated with hemolytic anemia, thrombocytosis, edema, intraventricular hemorrhage, and increasing risk of retrolental fibroplasia and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. An apparent inborn error of vitamin E metabolism, named familial isolated vitamin E deficiency, has recently been identified. (Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1181)

A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN A in the diet, characterized by NIGHT BLINDNESS and other ocular manifestations such as dryness of the conjunctiva and later of the cornea (XEROPHTHALMIA). Vitamin A deficiency is a very common problem worldwide, particularly in developing countries as a consequence of famine or shortages of vitamin A-rich foods. In the United States it is found among the urban poor, the elderly, alcoholics, and patients with malabsorption. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1179)

A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN B 12 in the diet, characterized by megaloblastic anemia. Since vitamin B 12 is not present in plants, humans have obtained their supply from animal products, from multivitamin supplements in the form of pills, and as additives to food preparations. A wide variety of neuropsychiatric abnormalities is also seen in vitamin B 12 deficiency and appears to be due to an undefined defect involving myelin synthesis. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p848)

A lipid cofactor that is required for normal blood clotting. Several forms of vitamin K have been identified: VITAMIN K 1 (phytomenadione) derived from plants, VITAMIN K 2 (menaquinone) from bacteria, and synthetic naphthoquinone provitamins, VITAMIN K 3 (menadione). Vitamin K 3 provitamins, after being alkylated in vivo, exhibit the antifibrinolytic activity of vitamin K. Green leafy vegetables, liver, cheese, butter, and egg yolk are good sources of vitamin K.

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