Low levels of vitamin D during infancy may increase the risk of obesity later in adolescence

Researchers scoured through the data of over 300 children belonging to a cohort with close to 2,000 Chilean residents who served as participants during infancy.

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During the early-phase of infancy, in the first 12 months, low levels of vitamin D are found to be linked to metabolic syndrome later in adolescence, new research by the University of Michigan shows.

The new study led to the capability of predicting the risk of a range of conditions linked to metabolic syndromes, like cardiovascular disease, by a single measure of vitamin D.

As published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers scoured through the data of over 300 children belonging to a cohort with close to 2,000 Chilean residents who served as participants during infancy. They were followed through adolescence to assess their risk for cardiovascular disease.

At age 1, the participants underwent blood examinations, measuring concentrations of vitamin D and also body mass index, in which the process repeated at age 5, 10, and one-to-two years before reaching adulthood. At age 16-17, signs of metabolic syndrome were measured by the research team.

At age 1, the participants underwent blood examinations, measuring concentrations of vitamin D and also body mass index, which repeated at age 5, 10, and one-to-two years before reaching adulthood. At age 16-17, signs of metabolic syndrome were measured by the research team.

“We assessed whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at age 1 was related to metabolic health through adolescence,” the co-authors wrote in their findings.

The findings showed that every extra unit of vitamin D measured in the blood of a participant at 12 months of age was associated with a slower gain in BMI, reduced risk of poor metabolic health in adolescence, and less body fat.

“Intervention studies are warranted to examine the effects of vitamin D supplementation in early life on long-term cardiometabolic outcomes,” the co-authors concluded.

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