Vitamin D deficiency affects growth, weight gain

Vitamin D can affect girls' physical developmentIf you have been reading the latest news headlines about health resources in the past few months, you might be tempted to conclude the vitamin D is the new wonder drug.

Research has linked the vitamin with a number of health benefits, connected with the heart, pregnancy, a lower risk of diabetes and even cancer.

Now, a new study claims that girls who have a vitamin D deficiency may gain excess weight and find their growth stunted.

Researchers at the McGill University Health Center and the University of Southern California say their study is the first to deeply investigate the risks of insufficient vitamin D in young people.

“We found young women with vitamin D insufficiency were significantly heavier, with a higher body mass index and increased abdominal fat, than young women with normal levels,” commented lead author Richard Kremer.

The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Because it does not naturally occur in many foods, people often seek to achieve their recommended daily allowance from nutritional supplements.

In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled the daily intake of vitamin D it recommends for babies, children and adolescents.