University of Oulu

Helena H Hauta-alus, Elisa M Holmlund-Suila, Eero Kajantie, Jenni Rosendahl, Saara M Valkama, Maria Enlund-Cerullo, Sture Andersson, Outi Mäkitie, The Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation During Infancy on Growth During the First 2 Years of Life, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 106, Issue 3, March 2021, Pages e1140–e1155,

The effects of vitamin D supplementation during infancy on growth during the first 2 years of life

Saved in:
Author: Hauta-alus, Helena H.1,2,3; Holmlund-Suila, Elisa M.1,2; Kajantie, Eero1,3,4,5;
Organizations: 1Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Research Center, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, 00020 HUS, Helsinki, Finland
2Research Program for Clinical and Molecular Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
3Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), 00271 Helsinki, Finland
4PEDEGO Research Unit, MRC Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
5Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
6Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, and Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Laboratory, Karolinska University Hospital, SE-17176 Stockholm, Sweden
7Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics, 00290 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Endocrine society, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-21


Context: The relationship between maternal and infant vitamin D and early childhood growth remains inadequately understood.

Objective: This work aimed to investigate how maternal and child 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and vitamin D supplementation affect growth during the first 2 years of life.

Methods: A randomized, double-blinded, single-center intervention study was conducted from pregnancy until offspring age 2 years. Altogether 812 term-born children with complete data were recruited at a maternity hospital. Children received daily vitamin D₃ supplementation of 10 μg (group 10) or 30 μg (group 30) from age 2 weeks to 2 years. Anthropometry and growth rate were measured at age 1 and 2 years.

Results: Toddlers born to mothers with pregnancy 25(OH)D greater than 125 nmol/L were at 2 years lighter and thinner than the reference group with 25(OH)D of 50 to 74.9 nmol/L (P < .010). Mean 2-year 25(OH)D concentrations were 87 nmol/L in group 10 and 118 nmol/L in group 30 (P < .001). When group 30 was compared with group 10, difference in body size was not statistically significant (P > .053), but group 30 had slower growth in length and head circumference between 6 months and 1 year (P < .047), and more rapid growth in weight and length-adjusted weight between 1 and 2 years (P < .043). Toddlers in the highest quartile of 25(OH)D (> 121 nmol/L) were shorter (mean difference 0.2 SD score [SDS], P = .021), lighter (mean difference 0.4 SDS, P = .001), and thinner (in length-adjusted weight) (mean difference 0.4 SDS, P = .003) compared with the lowest quartile (< 81.2 nmol/L).

Conclusions: Vitamin D and early childhood growth may have an inverse U-shaped relationship.

see all

Series: Journal of clinical endocrinology & metabolism
ISSN: 0021-972X
ISSN-E: 1945-7197
ISSN-L: 0021-972X
Volume: 106
Issue: 3
Pages: 1140 - e1155
DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa943
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: This work was supported by the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation (H.H.H.), Juho Vainio Foundation (H.H.H.), European Commission (Horizon 2020; Award 733280) (E.K.), Academy of Finland (E.K. and O.M.), Foundation for Pediatric Research (S.A., E.K., O.M. and S.M.V.), Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (E.K.), Sigrid Juselius Foundation (E.K. and O.M.), Novo Nordisk Foundation (E.K. and O.M.), Foundation for Cardiovascular Research (E.K.), Diabetes Research Foundation (E.K.), Finska Läkaresällskapet (S.A.), A Special Governmental Subsidy for Clinical Research (S.A.), Folkhälsan Research Foundation (O.M.), Pediatric Research Center (E.H.S. and S.M.V.), and Orion Research Foundation (S.M.V.).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( The final authenticated version is available online at