Vitamin D deficiency is no joke! A new estimate in the journal Pediatrics reports 7.6 million children, adolescents and young adults have levels of Vitamin D so low that they can be considered deficient. Another 50.8 million people have higher levels, but still too low.
The researchers and others blamed the low levels on a combination of factors, including children spending more time watching television and playing video games instead of going outside, covering up and using sunscreen when they do go outdoors, and drinking more soda and other beverages instead of consuming milk and other foods fortified with Vitamin D.
"This appears to be another result of our unhealthy lifestyles, including a sedentary society that doesn't go out in the sun much," Michal L. Melamed of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said.
The analysis and an accompanying federal study also found an association between low Vitamin D levels and increased risk for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and a condition that increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes, known as the metabolic syndrome.
Taken together, the studies provide new evidence that low Vitamin D levels may be putting a generation of children at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, two of the nation's biggest health problems that are also increased by the childhood obesity epidemic.
In related news, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to difficulty thinking and increases risk of dementia. To help boost vitamin D, Dr. Fuhrman has his own supplement, called Osteo–Sun, in vegan and non-vegan forms.
Via The Washington Post.
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