Vitamin D deficit, obesity linked

May 11, 2011

Vitamin D deficiency is common in American children and, moreover, linked with obesity and different types of fat distribution in white and black youngsters, HealthDay News reports.

Pittsburgh - Vitamin D deficiency is common in American children and, moreover, linked with obesity and different types of fat distribution in white and black youngsters, HealthDay News reports.

A research team headed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Silva Arslanian, M.D., determined that in a group of 237 healthy obese and non-obese, white and black children ages 8 to 18, most were vitamin D deficient. The researchers found that low levels of vitamin D were associated with higher body mass index and fat levels and lower levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

The study notes that in the group found to be vitamin D deficient, white children were more likely to have higher levels of visceral adipose tissue, while black children were more likely to have higher levels of subcutaneous adipose tissue.

HealthDay News quotes Dr. Arslanian as saying, “Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in American youth, and there is some suggestion in adults that low levels of vitamin D may be playing a role in the increasing rates of type 2 diabetes. It is possible the same may be true for youth with type 2 diabetes. Besides therapeutic interventions to correct the high rates of vitamin D deficiency in youth, benefits of vitamin D optimization on fat levels, lipid profile and risk of type 2 diabetes need to be explored.”

The study is published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.