Pediatricians Use AHRQ Report to Create New Guidelines on Vitamin D for Infants

Comparative Effectiveness
December 2006

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendations that all infants, including those who are exclusively breastfed, should have a minimum intake of 200 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, beginning during the first two months of life.

The vitamin D guidelines were based on the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS recommendations were based, in part, on the findings of the AHRQ-funded research conducted by the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This research was conducted in conjunction with Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The guidelines also recommend that an intake of 200 IU of vitamin D per day be continued throughout childhood and adolescence, because adequate sunlight exposure is not easily determined for a given individual.

The AAP recommendation titled, Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency: New Guidelines for Vitamin D Intake, was prompted by reports of rickets in infants attributable to inadequate vitamin D intake and decreased exposure to sunlight. The bone-weakening disease has been on the rise nationwide in recent years.

The clinical report for the AAP statement can be found at

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): CERTs
Topics(s): Vitamins and Supplements, Children/Adolescents, Children/Adolescents
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Date: 12/01/2006


Kreiter SR, Schwartz RP, Kirman HN Jr, Charlton PA, Calikoglu AS, Davenport ML. Nutritional rickets in African American breast-fed infants. Journal of Pediatrics, 2000. 137: 153-157.

Gartner LM, Greer FR. Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency: New guidelines for vitamin D intake. Pediatrics, April 2003. 111 (4 Pt 1): 908-10.


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