BACKGROUND: Children and young adults with HIV infection may exhibit vitamin D deficiency, which is harmful to bone health as well as the endocrine and immune systems. OBJECTIVES: This study sought to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on children and young adults with HIV infection. METHODS: The PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched. Randomized controlled trials that have evaluated the effects of vitamin D supplementation (ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol) at any dose or for any duration in children and young adults with HIV infection, aged 0-25 y, were included. A random-effects model was used, and the standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% CI were calculated. RESULTS: Ten trials, with 21 publications and 966 participants (mean age: 17.9 y), were included in the meta-analysis. The supplementation dose and the duration of the studies included ranged from 400 to 7000 IU/d and from 6 to 24 mo, respectively. Vitamin D supplementation was associated with a significantly higher serum 25(OH)D concentration at 12 mo (SMD: 1.14; 95% CI: 0.64, 1.65; P < 0.00001) compared with a placebo. No significant difference was observed in spine BMD (SMD: -0.09; 95% CI: -0.47, 0.3; P = 0.65) at 12 mo between these 2 groups. However, participants who received higher doses (1600-4000 IU/d) had significantly higher total BMD (SMD: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.44; P = 0.03) and nonsignificantly higher spine BMD (SMD: 0.3; 95% CI: -0.02, 0.61; P = 0.07) at 12 mo compared with those who received standard doses (400-800 IU/d). CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D supplementation in children and young adults with HIV infection increases the serum 25(OH)D concentration. A relatively high daily dose of vitamin D (1600-4000 IU) improves total BMD at 12 mo and results in sufficient 25(OH)D concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2023


  • children
  • HIV
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review
  • vitamin D
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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