Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vitamin D deficiencies in teenagers

A new study found a link between low vitamin D levels and a variety of health issues in teens:
Teens in the study with the lowest vitamin D levels were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure and high blood sugar. They were also four times more likely to have metabolic syndrome, defined as have three of more conditions that contribute to heart disease and diabetes — including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, big waists and high cholesterol.
While 15 minutes of sunshine will allow your body to make what it needs in the summer, it's a lot harder to get enough that way in the winter.

The article went on to say:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled its recommended amount of vitamin D for children and teens to 400 units daily — the equivalent of drinking four cups of milk. The pediatricians group said kids who don’t get enough should take vitamin supplements.

The teen study looked at about 3,600 boys and girls ages 12 to 19 who took part in a government health survey from 2001 to 2004. The researchers used measurements of vitamin D from blood tests.

On average, none of the teens were getting enough vitamin D. Whites had the highest levels, blacks had the lowest levels and Mexican-Americans had levels in between.

More here.

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