Lack of Vitamin D causes obesity, stunts growthDecember 11th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, Dec 11 (IANS) Insufficient vitamin D can stunt growth and foster obesity during puberty, according to a new study.Even in sun-drenched California, scientists from McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and University of Southern California found that vitamin D deficiency caused higher body mass and shorter stature in girls at the peak of their growing spurt.
While lack of vitamin D is common in adults and has been linked to osteoporosis, cancer and obesity, until this study, little was known about the consequences of insufficient vitamin D in young people.
The research team measured vitamin D in girls aged 16 to 22 using a simple blood test (25-hydroxy vitamin D). They also assessed body fat and height to determine how vitamin D deficiency could affect young women’s health.
“The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in young people living in a sun-rich area was surprising,” said study co-author, Richard Kremer, co-director of the Musculoskeletal Axis of the MUHC.
“We found young women with vitamin D insufficiency were significantly heavier, with a higher body mass index and increased abdominal fat, than young women with normal levels.”
Researchers examined 90 Caucasian and Hispanic girls and discovered that young women with normal vitamin D levels were on average taller than peers deficient in vitamin D.
However, their investigation found no association between lack of vitamin D and bone strength, according to a MUHC release.
“Although vitamin D is now frequently measured in older adults, due to a higher level of awareness in this population, it is rarely measured in young people - especially healthy adolescents,” said Kremer.
These findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
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Tags: body mass index, endocrinology and metabolism, hydroxy vitamin, journal of clinical endocrinology, journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, mcgill university health, mcgill university health centre, richard kremer, university health centre, vitamin d deficiency