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High doses of vitamin D safe and effective in overweight youths

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

It is not uncommon for an obese adolescent to receive unhealthy vitamin D test results. But new findings suggest that improving the nutritional status of these individuals may be simple matter of providing them with high-dose supplements.

Researchers from the University of Missouri showed that this method is not only effective at boosting the levels of vitamin circulating in the blood of overweight youths, it is also safe.

As part of the study, the team administered either a 4,000-international unit supplement to participants or a placebo. The results showed that those receiving the active supplement experienced significant gains in vitamin D levels, compared to those on the placebo. Furthermore, no health complications were noted among participants receiving this high dose.

"It takes 4,000 IUs to raise their vitamin D status within a sufficient range," said Catherine Peterson, who led the study. "This is much higher than the currently recommended daily amount for this age group. This indicates that physicians need to carefully evaluate the vitamin D status in their overweight and obese patients."

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a range of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as an increased risk of heart disease and some cancers.

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