Vitamin D could help battle childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic across the world and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), by 2016 nearly 1 in 5 school-aged children in the US was considered obese.
There are many health risks associated with childhood obesity including the development of diabetes, metabolic problems, and heart disease later on in life.
A new study, conducted by researchers from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School in Greece, found that Vitamin D supplements could be an effective treatment for combating obesity in adolescents and children.
The research was presented at the 57th annual European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology meeting.
Vitamin D deficiencies are usually linked to poor bone health and not getting enough sun.
However, there is a growing body of research on vitamin D and it’s potential to help with weight loss and reduce risk factors for metabolic disease and obesity.
To understand how Vitamin D impacts obesity rates in young people, 232 obese children and adolescents were chosen to participate in the study.
For 12 months, 117 of the child participants were given recommended regular doses of vitamin D. The researchers measured vitamin D levels and took blood samples to evaluate liver and heart health at the beginning and end of the study.
At the end of the 12 months, the 117 children who had been given vitamin D supplements had a lower body mass index, body fat and better cholesterol levels according to the results.
“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,” said Evangelia Charmandari, the lead researcher of the study.
The positive results of the study suggest that vitamin D may be a helpful asset in combating obesity and metabolic disease.
The researcher’s next plan to study the impacts of Vitamin D supplements on children and adolescents with diagnosed health problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol.