This study was designed to ascertain whether oral vitamin D supplementation (oral supplementation and fortified foods) is associated with changes in body weight measures in children and adolescents, using a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to October 28, 2022. The mean difference and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) of interested outcomes were pooled using a random-effects model. Twenty-one RCTs were included in the meta-analysis, and the results showed a significant decrease in body mass index (BMI) following vitamin D supplementation in children and adolescents (n = 9 studies, 1029 participants; weighted mean difference: − 0.43 kg/m2, 95% CI: − 0.79, − 0.08; P = 0.02; I2 = 58.5%). Overall, oral vitamin D supplementation had no significant effect on body weight and other anthropometric indices, including fat mass, lean mass, waist circumference, BMI Z-score, and height. Although results of body weight changed to significant after sensitivity analysis (WMD = 0.39 kg, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.78; P = 0.04; I2 = 0%, P-heterogeneity = 0.71), we also found significant weight gain in healthy pediatric population, and when the dose of vitamin D supplementation was up to 600 IU/day, the certainty of evidence was very low for weight, moderate for height and BMI, and low for the remaining outcomes. Conclusion: Our results suggest that vitamin D supplementation may lead to a statistically significant weight gain in children and adolescents, while BMI was reduced. Although no significant change was observed in height, it seems vitamin D supplementation may elicit these changes by increasing skeletal growth; however, this remains to be verified. Further high-quality RCTs, with longer duration and larger sample sizes, are needed to yield more certain evidence in this regard.What is Known:• Available evidence indicates an inverse association between body weight/fat mass and vitamin D status in children and adolescents; however, findings regarding the effect of vitamin D supplementation on anthropometric measurements in children are controversial.What is New:• Our results showed a significant decrease in BMI following vitamin D supplementation in children.• A significant weight gain also was observed after sensitivity analysis, and in healthy pediatric population, and when the dose of vitamin D supplementation was up to 600 IU/day.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences (Grant number:1400p1333). Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and manuscript drafting.
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
- Vitamin D
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health