Background: Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy or infancy is associated with adverse growth in children. No systematic review has been conducted to summarize available evidence on the effect of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy and infancy on growth and body composition in children. Objective: We aim to summarize the available evidence on the effect of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy and infancy on child growth and body composition. Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed on the effects of vitamin D supplementation during early life on children’s growth and body composition (bone, lean and fat). A literature search of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to identify relevant studies on the effects of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and infancy on children’s body composition (bone, lean and fat) in PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane Library from inception to 31 December 2020. A Cochrane Risk Assessment Tool was used for quality assessment. The comparison was vitamin D supplementation vs. placebo or standard care. Random-effects and fixed-effect meta-analyses were conducted. The effects are presented as mean differences (MDs) or risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: A total of 3960 participants from eleven randomized controlled trials were eligible for inclusion. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with higher triceps skinfold thickness (mm) (MD 0.33, 95% CI, 0.12, 0.54; I2
= 34%) in neonates. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy or infancy was associated with significantly increased length for age z-score in infants at 1 year of age (MD 0.29, 95% CI, 0.03, 0.54; I2
= 0%), and was associated with lower body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2
) (MD −0.19, 95% CI −0.34, −0.04; I2
= 0%) and body mass index z-score (BMIZ) (MD −0.12, 95% CI −0.21, −0.04; I2
= 0%) in offspring at 3–6 years of age. Vitamin D supplementation during early life was not observed to be associated with children’s bone, lean or fat mass. Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy or infancy may be associated with reduced adiposity in childhood. Further large clinical trials of the effects of vitamin D supplementation on childhood body composition are warranted.
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