Impact of high-dose vitamin D supplementation on offspring’s bone health


A new study examines whether a high dose of vitamin D during pregnancy improves the bone health of offspring.

Supplementation during pregnancy can have potential positive health outcomes for offspring. A new study in JAMA Pediatrics looked at whether a 7-fold increased intake of vitamin D during pregnancy is linked to improved bone health in offspring when compared with the regular dose.1

Researchers did a prespecified analysis of a double-blinded, randomized clinical trial using the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood 2010 cohort that included 623 pregnant women and their 584 children. The women were given either a 2800 IU/d of vitamin D (high dose) or 400 IU/d (standard dose) from the 24th week in the pregnancy until a week following birth.

At age 6 years, 517 children underwent clinical follow-up. An analysis of dual-energy radiography absorptiometry scan outcomes from ages 3 years and 6 years found that the children born to mothers who had been given a high dose of vitamin D had higher whole-body bone mineral content than the children born to mothers who were given a standard dose. The effect was most significant in children who had vitamin D–insufficient mothers (<30 ng/mL) and children with winter births. A post hoc analysis also showed a borderline lower incidence of fracture in children born to mothers with an increased vitamin D dose in pregnancy.

Researchers concluded that high-dose vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy improved bone health in children. One key limitation to the study was the homogenous nature of the cohort as all participants were white and Danish.


1.    Brustad N, Garland J, Thorsen J, et al. Effect of high-dose vs standard-dose vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy on bone mineralization in offspring until age 6 years: a prespecified secondary analysis of a double-blinded, randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(5):419-427. Doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.6083

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