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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Hoping you, and your Child, are Reading this Blog Outdoors in the Sunshine

By Michael McBurney

In the northern hemisphere, vitamin D status is usually at its highest during August. Yet the International Osteoporosis Foundation reports that vitamin D status is less than optimal for many. Because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, researchers have wondered if serum 25(OH)D levels might be affect by adiposity in addition to sun exposure and dietary intake.

Au and colleagues estimated vitamin D intake from foods and dietary supplements in 3,310 children/adolescents participating in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The majority, nearly 75%, failed to consume the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). Overweight/obese children who failed to meet the EAR were 5x more likely to be at risk of inadequate vitamin D status (vs children of healthy body weight).  

Previously, low serum 25(OH)D levels have been associated with obesityMark and associates reported that higher vitamin D intakes are required to increase serum 25(OH)D concentrations in obese youth. Caron-Jobin and colleagues reported that elevated serum 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with reduced adipocyte size in women. In 2012, Salehpour and colleagues suggested that increasing serum 25(OH)D concentrations might reduce obesity but this hypothesis remains to be tested.  

The jury is still out on the association between serum 25(OH)D levels and obesity. However, this new study confirms previous reports that vitamin D intakes are inadequate for the majority. It also reports that vitamin D inadequacy is greater in youth who are overweight/obese or non-Hispanic black heritage.


Au LE, Rogers GT, Harris SS, Dwyer JT, Jacques PF, Sacheck JM. Associations of vitamin D intake with 25-hydroxyvitamin D in overweight and racially/ethnically diverse US children. 2013 J Am Nutr Diet doi:10.1016/j.jand.2013.05.025

Gagnon C, Lu ZX, Magliano DJ, Dunstan DW, Shaw JE, Zimmet PZ, Sikaris K, Ebeling PR, Daly RM. Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with increased risk of the development of the metabolic syndrome at five years: Results from a national, population-based prospective study (The Australia Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study: AusDiab). 2012 JCEM doi:10.1210/jc.2011-3187

Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. 2012 Nutr J doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-78

Caron-Jobin M, Morrisset A-S, Tremblay A, Huot C, Legare D, Tchernof A. Elevated serum 25(OH)D concentrations, vitamin D, and calcium intakes are associated with reduced adipocyte size in women. 2012 Obesity doi:10.1038/0by.2011.90