Prevention of vitamin D deficiency in children. The state of the problem in the world and in Ukraine




vitamin D, children, deficiency, prevention


The article presents current data on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and criteria for its deficiency in children in different countries. Vitamin D is recognized as one of the most important vitamins involved in many biochemical processes in the body. Its active metabolites play a key role in calcium absorption, bone mineralization and promote phosphate and magnesium metabolism. At the same time, in addition to affecting mineral metabolism, there is a wide range of conditions in which vitamin D also plays a preventive role. Vitamin D has been shown to play a vital role in innate immunity maintenance and is important in prevention of several diseases, including infections, autoimmune diseases, certain forms of cancer, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin D is of particular importance for newborns and young children. This vitamin is involved in important physiological regulatory processes such as bone metabolism, lung development, maturation of the immune system and differentiation of the nervous system. Vitamin D deficiency increases risks of neonatal sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, respiratory distress syndrome, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium during childhood can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency in adults. Recently, vitamin D deficiency has shown to be a potential risk factor for COVID-19 propensity.

It has been established that to date most scientific pediatric societies have recognized the need to prevent vitamin D deficiency in healthy children of all ages, but data on the dosage of vitamin D in its prophylactic use differ. Most scientific societies recommend an average of 400–600 IU per day of vitamin D for prophylactic purposes. The analysis of published data shows the need to follow a strategy based on an individual approach, taking into account physiological characteristics, individual requirements and lifestyle.

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.


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