Journal of Translational Medicine 2019 17:87, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-019-1840-
Susanna Esposito, Alberto Leonardi, Lucia Lanciotti, Marta Cofini, Giulia Muzi and Laura Penta
Human growth is a complex mechanism that depends on genetic, environmental, nutritional and hormonal factors. The main hormone involved in growth at each stage of development is growth hormone (GH) and its mediator, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). In contrast, vitamin D is involved in the processes of bone growth and mineralization through the regulation of calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Nevertheless, no scientific study has yet elucidated how they interact with one another, especially as a dysfunction in which one influences the other, even if numerous biochemical and clinical studies confirm the presence of a close relationship.
We reviewed and analyzed the clinical studies that have considered the relationship between vitamin D and the GH/IGF-1 axis in pediatric populations. We found two main areas of interest: the vitamin D deficiency status in patients affected by GH deficit (GHD) and the relationship between serum vitamin D metabolites and IGF-1. Although limited by some bias, from the analysis of the studies presented in the scientific literature, it is possible to hypothesize a greater frequency of hypovitaminosis D in the subjects affected by GHD, a reduced possibility of its correction with only substitution treatment with recombinant growth hormone (rGH) and an improvement of IGF-1 levels after supplementation treatment with vitamin D.
These results could be followed by preventive interventions aimed at reducing the vitamin D deficit in pediatric age. In addition, further research is needed to fully understand how vitamin D and growth are intertwined.