Taking a vitamin D supplements may promote weight lose in overweight and obese children. This finding is from a study that looked at the link between vitamin D supplementation and weight loss and health in children and adolescents. It may well be the first study of this nature.
Commonly referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is freely available from the sun. Paradoxically, its deficiency is rather common.
The global child obesity epidemic is of great concern and is one of the greatest health challenges of modern times. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 41 million children under the age of 5 can be considered overweight or obese. In the United States, the percentages of child obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s.
Obesity in childhood can have a harmful effect on the body in various ways. These include increased risk of conditions such as including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathing problems, musculoskeletal discomfort, impaired bone health, and joint issues.
The new study suggests that vitamin D supplements may be a part of a strategy to combat childhood obesity.
For this study, the researchers from from University of Athens Medical School and Aghia Sophia Children’s Hospital, Athens, assessed 232 obese children over a period of 12 months. At the start of the study, the researchers measured the participants’ vitamin D levels, body fat percentage, as well as their markers of liver and heart function.
The researchers randomly assigned 117 children to receive vitamin D supplements for six weeks. The others became the the control group.
The study showed that children who received vitamin D supplements had significantly lower body mass index (BMI), body fat, and improved cholesterol levels. This, one researcher opined, meant that “vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of overweight and obese children developing serious heart and metabolic complications in later life.”