The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Might vitamin D deficiency make you chubby?

    Less vitamin D means more adiposity, according to researchers in the US and Bogota, Columbia.

    First, the details.

    • Researchers looked for associations between vitamin D blood levels and changes in body mass index (BMI), skinfold-thickness ratio (upper arm), waist circumference, and height.
    • Blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were collected from a randomly selected group of 479 school children.
    • Vitamin D status was considered deficient (less than 50 nmol/L), insufficient 50 to less than 75 nmol/L, or sufficient 75 nmol/L or greater).
    • Anthropometric variables were measured yearly for about 30 months.

    And, the results.

    • Children with the lowest vitamin D levels tended to gain weight faster than children with higher levels.
    • Children with the lowest vitamin D levels had more drastic increases in central body fat.
    • Vitamin D deficiency was also linked to slower growth in height among girls but not boys.
    • Of all the children tested, 10% were vitamin D deficient, and another 46% of kids were insufficient, which meant they were at risk of becoming deficient.

    The bottom line?

    So, lower vitamin D levels are associated with greater risk of adiposity.

    The study was conducted in Bogota, a subtropical country. One might be surprised at the high level of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in those children. However, at least 1 other recent study in Costa Rica had similar findings.

    In Australia, researchers reported vitamin D deficiency is a problem earlier than childhood. In that study, 19% of newborns had 25(OH)D levels less than 25 nmol/L and 57% had levels less than 50 nmol/L. Only 27% had levels of 75 nmol/l or higher — levels associated with optimal health in older children and adults.

    11/11/10 19:26 JR

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