Food and Behaviour Research

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Vitamin D supplementation: are multivitamins sufficient?

Moon RJ, Curtis EM, Cooper C, Davies JH, Harvey NC (2019) Arch Dis Child.  2019 Feb.  pii: archdischild-2018-316339. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2018-316339. [Epub ahead of print] 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here



Public Health England advises 400 IU/day vitamin D supplementation for children over 1 year. Commercially available children's multivitamin and vitamin D supplements were surveyed to determine the vitamin D content.


Multivitamins and vitamin D supplements marketed at children <12 years and sold by nine UK supermarkets and health supplement retailers were surveyed. Vitamin D content was determined from manufacturer's websites and product packaging.


67 multivitamins were surveyed, containing 0-800 IU/day vitamin D. Only 25%-36%, depending on the child's age, provided ≥400 IU/day vitamin D. Supplements containing only vitamin D or labelled as for 'healthy bones' typically had higher vitamin D content (57%-67% contained ≥400 IU/day).


Few multivitamin products supply the recommended 400 IU/day vitamin D. Clinicians need to be aware of this when recommending vitamin D supplementation and advise parents/carers to choose a product that contains ≥400 IU/day vitamin D.


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