Vitamin D in Children and Adolescents: Are the Needs More Than Skin Deep?

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for calcium absorption and bone health. Current research on vitamin D levels links decreased vitamin D synthesis with children spending less time in the sun and increasing sunscreen use. At least 14% of children in the United States have an insufficient or deficient level of vitamin D. The risks of vitamin D deficiency include rickets and osteomalacia. Suboptimal levels of vitamin D in adolescents lead to an increase risk of fractures. Vitamin D guidelines vary, and recommendations are controversial. In general, the current literature supports vitamin D supplementation for children and adolescents to improve overall bone health.

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