Vitamin D metabolites were studied in mother-infant pairs at delivery and eight and 15 weeks after that to evaluate the possibility of vitamin D supplementation of infant through the mother. Healthy mothers (n = 49) delivering in January received daily either 2000 IU (group 1), 1000 IU (group 2), or no (group 3) vitamin D. Their infants were exclusively breast fed, and those in group 3 received 400 IU of vitamin D a day. After eight weeks of lactation the infantile vitamin D concentrations were similar in groups 1 and 3 but significantly lower in group 2. The serum 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentrations were also lower in group 2. The mean mineral, parathyroid hormone, and alkaline phosphatase values showed no intergroup differences at any point. No infants showed any clinical or biochemical signs of rickets, and their growth was equal. In conclusion, a daily postpartum maternal supplementation with 2000 IU of vitamin D, but not with 1000 IU, seems to normalise the vitamin D metabolites of breast fed infants in winter. Maternal safety with such supplementation over prolonged periods, however, should be examined.
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