Seasonal variation in vitamin D status of Japanese infants starts to emerge at 2 months of age: a retrospective cohort study

Keigo Takahashi, Takeshi Arimitsu, Kaori Hara-Isono, Kazushige Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Vitamin D seasonality has been reported in adults and children, suggesting that sunlight exposure has effects on 25(OH)D production. While vitamin D deficiency among infants has received significant attention, little is known about the extent to which vitamin D status during early infancy is affected by sunlight exposure. Here, we retrospectively analysed serum 25(OH)D levels of 692 samples obtained from healthy infants aged 1-2 months born at Saitama City Hospital, Japan (latitude 35·9° North) between August 2017 and September 2021. Data regarding the frequency of outdoor activities, formula intake and BMI were also collected and analysed. Month-to-month comparisons of vitamin D levels revealed significant variation in 25(OH)D levels in breastfed infants starting at 2 months, with maximal and minimal levels in September and January, respectively. An outdoor activity score of 0 was most common at 1 month (83·9 %) and a score of 3 was most common at 2 months (81·2 %), suggesting an increased amount of sunlight exposure at 2 months. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed the amount of formula intake to be significantly associated with vitamin D status at both 1 (t = 17·96) and 2 months (t = 16·30). Our results comprise the first evidence that seasonal variation of vitamin D begins at 2 months among breastfed infants from East Asia, though dietary intake appears to be the major determinant of vitamin D status. These findings provide new insights into the influence of dietary and non-dietary factors on vitamin D status during early infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1915
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 14


  • 25(OH)D
  • Infant
  • Seasonality
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal variation in vitamin D status of Japanese infants starts to emerge at 2 months of age: a retrospective cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this