Vitamin D is essential for growth and development, starting with intrauterine life. It is the key factor for intestinal calcium absorption and, consequently, for bone formation and turnover. It has been known for a long time that, in children, lack of Vitamin D leads to rickets. Recent investigations have explored the many physiological roles of Vitamin D on different organs and systems, and the problems of Vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency in both health and disease. We now know that many otherwise healthy and well-nourished children have low Vitamin D reserves and sub-optimal bone development, even in developed countries, and that these problems are compounded in children affected by a wide variety of chronic diseases, from cystic fibrosis to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Vitamin D supplementation is now recommended in many countries, and some countries even encourage commercial food enrichment with Vitamin D (e.g., "fortified" milk). Medically prescribed treatment with Vitamin D or its active metabolites is also becoming a standard-of-care in the management of several chronic diseases and conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism