Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the regulation of calcium-phosphorus metabolism, particularly during pediatric age when nutritional rickets and impaired bone mass acquisition may occur.Besides its historical skeletal functions, in the last years it has been demonstrated that vitamin D directly or indirectly regulates up to 1250 genes, playing so-called extraskeletal actions. Indeed, recent data suggest a possible role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions, including infectious, allergic and autoimmune diseases. Thus, vitamin D deficiency may affect not only musculoskeletal health but also a potentially wide range of acute and chronic conditions. At present, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high in Italian children and adolescents, and national recommendations on vitamin D supplementation during pediatric age are lacking. An expert panel of the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics reviewed available literature focusing on randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation to provide a practical approach to vitamin D supplementation for infants, children and adolescents.
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health