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Vitamin D has important roles in calcium metabolism and in the prevention of rickets and osteomalacia; low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are common in the general population and amongst pregnant women. Whilst there is a wealth of observational evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to a wide range of disease outcomes, there are currently few high-quality randomised controlled trials to confirm any causal associations, although many are currently in progress. Furthermore, currently, the vast majority of published guidelines recommend standard supplemental vitamin D doses for children and pregnant women, yet there is increasing recognition that individual characteristics and genetic factors may influence the response to supplementation. As such, future research needs to concentrate on documenting definite beneficial clinical outcomes of vitamin D supplementation, and establishing personalised dosing schedules and demonstrating effective approaches to optimising initiation and adherence.

Original publication




Journal article


Calcif tissue int

Publication Date



Bone mineral density, Pregnancy, Rickets, Supplementation, Vitamin D