Many recent studies have been exploring the effects of Vitamin D on the human body. And it turns out that many Americans, especially overweight and obese teenagers have Vitamin D deficiencies
, according to the National Institutes of Health. So, what’s being done about this?
Researchers from the University of Missouri have discovered that providing high daily doses of vitamin D to overweight teens and adolescents is a safe and effective way of reversing their vitamin D deficiency and regulating their status. This is important, as overweight teenagers
have been found to be half
as efficient at utilizing vitamin D, compared to leaner teenagers.Details of the Study
The research was led by Catherine Peterson, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, who is also the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the College of Human Environmental Sciences (also known as HES). This department is a joint effort by HES, the School of Medicine and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Peterson cites that the reason obese adolescents have an increased risk for deficiency is because the vitamin D gets absorbed in their fat stores, which then prevents their blood from utilizing the vitamin.
To begin the study, the researchers had to find a proper way to indicate vitamin D levels in each individual. They chose to measure 250HD, which is one of the main indicators of a person's vitamin D status.
In the experiments, participants from the University of Missouri Adolescent Diabetes and Obesity clinic were randomly selected, and each received either a placebo pill or a 4,000 IU/day dose of vitamin D3, every day for six months. At the start, each patient showed significant vitamin D deficiencies
. After the six month treatment, those who had been supplemented with vitamin D3 had notable increases in concentrations of 250HD, compared to those who received the placebo. In conclusion, Peterson purported that a daily dose of 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3, which is the maximum intake level set by the Institute of Medicine, is suitable for improving deficiencies in the adolescents. The Essential Vitamin
Vitamin D is normally produced in the body by eating certain fortified foods like milk, cereals and orange juice, eggs, herring, tuna fish and sardines, as well as via vitamin supplements and through sunlight exposure. It is essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, nerves and immunity to other diseases.
The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily dose of 600 IUs per day, but obese adolescents should try to take at least twice
that amount to offset their absorption inefficiency. There is a large need for doctors to evaluate their overweight patients' vitamin D levels in order to determine if any additional doses of vitamin D3 are necessary.