Low vitamin D levels put teenagers at increased risk of diabetes and heart disease


Vitamin D is a steroid hormone and a component of a complex endocrine pathway sometimes called 'vitamin D endocrine system' (Medscape, 2012).

From WebMD, according to the results of a study presented at the 2009 American Heart Association meeting:

- Low vitamin D levels put teens at greatly increased risk of diabetes and heart disease

- Teens with vitamin D of less than 15 ng/mL had: 4-fold risk of metabolic syndrome, 2.5-fold risk of DM2, 2.36-fold risk of hypertension

- Black teenagers averaged about half the vitamin D levels seen in white teenagers (15.5 ng/mL vs. 28.0 ng/mL)

Is Vitamin D the Elixir of Life?

It could be, according the BMJ blog:

"You are vitamin D deficient, very probably, and this is making your muscles ache, slowing you brain, thinning your bones and making you more likely to get cancer and heart disease. The secret of the Mediterranean is not its food but its sunshine. Or both. Go on, take your clothes off, get outside, and eat lots of oily fish, cheese, wild fungi and eggs. Abandon your miserable existence in the dark North and start living before it is too late. Alternatively, get a sunbed and take large daily supplements of vitamin D. It’s the elixir of life, according to this very thorough and plausible review."

References:
Low Vitamin D Hurts Teens' Hearts. WebMD.
Vitamin D -- Elixir of Life?
Recommendation for Higher Daily Dose of Vitamin D and Twitter
Vitamin D Deficiency. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D. NEJM, 2007.
Where are EpiPens prescribed the most in the U.S.? Allergy Notes, 2007.
Vitamin D receptor activation with paricalcitol decreases albuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes, The Lancet, 2010. http://goo.gl/EgYZ6
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

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