Stuffing Chips - © Michael Moss - Salt Sugar Fat Book

Vitamin D May Help Obese Kids

We’ve been hearing a lot, lately, about the wonders that good old Vitamin D can work for your body and mind. Now a new study suggests that Vitamin D supplements can help obese children lose weight. In a world where childhood obesity has become a plague, this is welcome news, indeed…

Fat Child - © rusreality.comFor the love of God! Somebody give this kid some Vitamin D!

In the not too distant past, we’ve posted here about research-proven news that higher levels of Vitamin D can address a wide range of health issues. One of those is the prevention of childhood obesity.

Now, new research from the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology suggests that giving already-fat kids extra D can help them lose and control their weight.

What they did…

In this study, Dr. Christos Giannios, Dr. Evangelia Charmandari and colleagues at the University of Athens Medical School and the ‘Aghia Sophia’ Children’s Hospital in Athens, assessed 232 obese children and adolescents over 12 months, with 117 randomly assigned to receive vitamin D supplementation, in accordance with the Endocrine Society’s guidelines on treatment and prevention of deficiency. Levels of vitamin D, body fat, and blood markers of liver function and heart health were assessed at the start of the study and 12 months later.

What they found…

The study reported that children given vitamin D supplements had significantly lower body mass index, body fat and improved cholesterol levels after 12 months of supplementation.

“These findings suggest that simple vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of overweight and obese children developing serious heart and metabolic complications in later life,” says Lead Researcher Charmandari.

The takeaway…

While it is appealing to think that childhood obesity could be eradicated simply by giving all kids suitable Vitamin D supplements, Charmandari cautions, “Although these initial findings indicate that vitamin D could be used in the treatment of obesity, there remains a lack of evidence on the safety and long-term effects of supplementation, particularly if there is no vitamin D deficiency. However, if your child is overweight or obese I recommend that you consult your primary care physician for advice, and consider having their vitamin D levels tested.”

My take…

My personal physician (sounds all high and mighty, doesn’t it?) insists that I take 2,000 IU of extra D every morning. Living in the northern latitudes, as I do, we just don’t get enough D in the first place. After all, it’s synthesized by the skin in the presence of sunlight, and we get less here than they do in, say, Florida or California. Especially in the dark, cold winter months. I can tell you this: I’ve felt better and been more successful in maintaining my weight since I started taking extra D. Now, if I can just get my butt out of the workstation chair and go walking more often, and farther every day…

~ Maggie J.

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