Vitamin D and Bone Health in Children

Review Article

Austin J Nutr Metab. 2016; 3(1): 1038.

Vitamin D and Bone Health in Children

Pitukcheewanont P¹*, Riestra J¹, Nasomyont N² and Punyasavatsut N³

¹Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USA

²Department of Pediatrics, University of South Alabama, USA

³Scottish Rite Pediatric Adolescent Consultants, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, USA

*Corresponding author: Pisit Pitukcheewanont, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd, Mailstop #61 Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

Received: July 21, 2016; Accepted: August 31, 2016; Published: September 02, 2016


Vitamin D insufficiency is a major public health concern worldwide. Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health through the regulation of calcium and phosphate absorption. In this article, we will discuss various aspects of vitamin D’ association with bone health and the detrimental effects of vitamin D deficiency. Prevention, early identification, and treatment of vitamin D deficiency may have a profoundly positive effect on the quality of life throughout the life span. Lastly, we provide recommendations on vitamin D intake to optimize bone health in children and adolescents.

Keywords: Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency; Hypovitaminosis D; Bone health; Children; Adolescents; Bone mineral density


25OHD: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; 1,25(OH)2D: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D; BMD: Bone Mineral Density


Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) [1]. Decreased BMD is associated with increased fracture risk. In adults, normal BMD results from the balance between accrual of peak bone mass (PBM) at the end of adolescence and subsequent bone loss with age. It affects approximately 10 million individuals in the United States, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Physical inactivity, immobilization, calcium deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency are examples of important risk factors for osteoporosis.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and essential nutrient for calcium uptake which comes from two main sources, sun exposure and vitamin D-containing foods [1]. The major source of vitamin D for all age groups is exposure to natural sunlight [1].The main source of vitamin D in the United States is fortified foods. There are two major physiological forms of vitamin D, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) (Figure 1). Vitamin D3 is more potent and effective than vitamin D2 for maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in the body.

Citation: Pitukcheewanont P, Riestra J, Nasomyont N and Punyasavatsut N. Vitamin D and Bone Health in Children. Austin J Nutr Metab. 2016; 3(1): 1038.