Fast Five Quiz: Vitamin D

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD


July 21, 2020

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfed infants should receive supplements of 400 IU/day of vitamin D shortly after birth. They should continue to receive vitamin D supplementation until they are weaned and consume ≥1,000 mL/day of vitamin D-fortified formula or whole milk.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) previously recommended vitamin D supplementation of 700-800 IU/day to reduce fractures in older adults. However, the AAFP now recommends against routine vitamin D supplementation in community-dwelling adults.

Research into the role of vitamin D in cardiovascular disease is ongoing. One study found that 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were inversely related to cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure > 140/90 mm Hg, blood glucose level > 125 mg/dL (6.95 mmol/L), and body mass index of ≥ 30 kg/m2. The role of vitamin D supplementation in protecting against future cardiovascular events is unclear, and a large meta-analysis found no benefit.

A study from three South Asian hospitals found that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was higher among those with severe COVID-19 compared with those who had mild illness. Some evidence has also suggested that vitamin D supplementation may reduce respiratory tract infections in general. However, a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence rapid evidence review failed to find data supporting the use of vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk or severity of COVID-19.

Contraindications to vitamin D supplementation include:

  • Granulomatous disease

  • Metastatic bone disease

  • Sarcoidosis

  • Williams syndrome

Read more about vitamin D.


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