Vitamin D supplements in obese teenagers, which look to correct a deficiency in their body and assist with lowering their risk of heart disease, may be having a different effect than helping.
Teens struggling with obesity may not receive some of the benefits of vitamin D and it may actually be causing more issues than resolving them.
Dr. Seema Kumar, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota has been working for a decade studying the effects of this and other supplements in children while simultaneously authoring six studies.
According to studies, the lack of vitamin D may contribute not only to obesity in children but also be an underlying cause of other weight related medical issues.
Dr. Kumar’s latest study, which can be read here, looks to determine if supplements could help offset or decrease any of these complications in children.
Through her studies, however, it could be that instead of helping to lower insulin resistance and the occurrence of heart disease, the extra vitamin D in the body could actually contribute to is the rise in cholesterol and fat-harboring trigycerides.
“After three months of having vitamin D boosted into the normal range with supplements, these teenagers showed no changes in body weight, body mass index, waistline, blood pressure or blood flow,” explains Dr. Kumar. “We’re not saying the links between vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases don’t exist for children — we just haven’t found any yet.”
With further studies and more information available in the future, Dr. Kumar hopes the clarify the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and any weight-related medical conditions.
As for the current situation, the rise in homeopathic treatments at home by parents, who are giving children almost 5 times the recommended amount of vitamin D, are leading to issues such as hypervitaminosis, which causes poor appetite and nausea.