Public Release: 

New research calls for vitamin D supplementation in critically ill pediatric burn patients

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)

Deficiency of vitamin D is a common problem for patients with severe burn injuries and can lead to further health compromise. However, there are no evidence-based guidelines for vitamin D replenishment in such patients.

A new clinical trial by researchers at Cincinnati's Shriners Hospital for Children compared the outcomes of vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation on pediatric burn patients. The results of that research was published today in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN), the research journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.).

Fifty patients with severe burn injuries, ranging in age from infants to teenagers, were enrolled in the trial. All participants received the standard multivitamin supplementation. In addition, D2, D3 or placebo was administered daily during hospitalization using a randomized, double blinded study design. Differences in vitamin D status were compared over time and at four study intervals: baseline, midpoint of hospitalization, discharge and one year post burn.

The trial found no significant differences in serum vitamin D levels between the groups. Overall levels of vitamin D improved over the course of hospitalization; however, more than 10 percent of patients still had low levels at discharge. Those levels worsened at the one-year follow up exam, with 75 percent of placebo patients, 56 percent of D2 patients, and 25 percent of D3 patients showing evidence of deficiency.

The high incidence of low levels one year later indicates that continued treatment with vitamin D3 beyond the post-burn acute phase is needed to address the deficiency problem and its associated health risks.


A publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) is the premier scientific journal of nutrition and metabolic support. It publishes original, peer-reviewed studies that define the cutting edge of basic and clinical research in the field. It explores the science of optimizing the care of patients receiving enteral or intravenous therapies. All published JPEN articles are available online at

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit

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