Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation to Improve Linear Growth in Children

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  • Division of Public Health Nutrition, Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi, Delhi - 110 016 ,IN
  • Division of Public Health Nutrition, Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi, Delhi - 110 016 ,IN
  • Division of Public Health Nutrition, Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi, Delhi - 110 016 ,IN



Infants and young children, calcium and vitamin D supplementation, linear growth, morbidity due to infections, randomised double-blind placebo control trial


In India, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency as assessed by vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml is high across the country, in all socio-economic, age and sex groups. Studies from India have documented that prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high in breast-fed infants. Stunting in young children continues to be a major public health problem in India. It is possible that in addition to low birth weight and chronic energy deficiency, vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the high stunting rates in breast-fed Indian children. If this were so, vitamin D supplementation may reduce the magnitude of linear growth retardation in the first two years of life. A community-based randomised, double-blind supervised daily supplementation of 250 mg of calcium and 250 IU of Vitamin D (Group A) or placebo (Group B) to breast-fed infants from the first month up to 23 months of age was undertaken to assess the impact, if any, of vitamin D supplementation on linear growth in children and height attained at 23 months. At enrolment, there were no significant differences in weight, length and BMI between infants belonging to Group A or Group B. There were no significant differences in infant and young child feeding practices, morbidity due to infection, or linear growth and height attained at 23 months between Group A and Group B. These data suggest that daily supplementation of calcium and vitamin D between 0-23 months did not have any significant impact on linear growth of children from urban low middle income families.


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How to Cite

Ramachandran, P., Sharma, A., & Gopalan, H. S. (2023). Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation to Improve Linear Growth in Children. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 60(2), 185–200.



Original Articles
Received 2022-07-03
Accepted 2023-06-21
Published 2023-06-01



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