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New Study Indicates That Vitamin D Deficiency Can Be Making Our Children Fatter

Posted May 24 2011 10:08pm

A recent study which has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has concluded that children who are deficient in vitamin D have a tendency to accumulate fat around the waistline and are quicker to gain weight than their counterparts who have adequate vitamin D levels.

You will often here vitamin D referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. The reason for this is that when we are exposed to sunlight our skin converts ultraviolet (UV) light into this vitamin. At this point vitamin D will act like many hormones in the body do and aids our bodies in the absorption of calcium.

Over the last several years we have witnessed a worldwide increase in vitamin D deficiency. This is especially true in developed nations. Some even feel that it is at epidemic proportions. There are several factors attributed to this. Poor diets, the fact that lifestyles are now based indoors and the use of sunscreens are among the primary reasons.Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increase in rickets among very young children. As we grow older this deficiency has also been linked to osteoporosis, dementia and arthritis.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also indicated that it may be responsible for increased risk of some cancers as well as Type II Diabetes.

This new study was conducted in 2006 in Bogota, Columbia. It involved a total of 479 children who ranged in ages from 5 years to 12 years. Researchers followed these children for a period of 30 months.

The data they collected found that children with low vitamin D levels gained weight at a faster rate than children who were not deficient. Another interesting fact that they found was that in girls with deficiencies it caused a slower rate of height growth. Although this was not the case for boys in the study.

This study indicates the importance of getting adequate supplies of vitamin D into your system. It can be from sunlight, affordable supplements or from diet. Some good food sources would be fortified milk, liver, eggs and fatty fish to name a few.

It has suggested by the World Health Organization that people be tested for vitamin D deficiency to see if supplementation is needed.

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