Just "D" Facts about Vitamin D

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Archive for September, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked with Earlier Menstruation in Young Girls

Posted by D3forU on September 19, 2011

A new study has found an association between vitamin D deficiency and early menstruation in young girls. Early menstruation can be a risk factor for a number of health problems for teen girls as well as women later in life.

University of Michigan researchers found that girls low on vitamin D were twice as likely to start menstruation early compared to those with sufficient vitamin D.

Worldwide, researchers said they have observed a decline in age of first menstruation, a change likely brought on by environmental factors because the genetic factors have not changed.

Premature menarche is a risk factor for a number of behavioral and psychosocial problems in teens. It also may be associated with an increased of cardiometabolic diseases and cancer in adult women.

Previous research has indicated that menarche begins later in girls who live close to the equator compared to girls who live in northern countries, presumably because girls in northern countries may suffer higher rates of vitamin D deficiency.

In the study, girls who were low in vitamin D were 11 years old, on average, when they had their first period. Girls with sufficient vitamin D were, on average, 12 years old.

Though the age gap is only a year, the researchers said the difference is in fact substantial because at those ages a lot is happening rapidly in a young girls’ body.


Link to story

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Derm’s Own Son ‘D’ Deficient: NBC Report

Posted by D3forU on September 17, 2011

A Washington, D.C., dermatologist was unable to identify her 14-year-old son’s severe vitamin D deficiency even after he complained of constant pain, headaches, exhaustion, body aches and stomach pain — classic signs of severe vitamin D deficiency, NBC News-Washington reported in a televised story.


“Because Benjamin’s an active tennis player she (his mother) thought he’d just pulled a muscle or strained something,” NBC-Washington reported after talking with Dr. Marilyn Berzin, Benjamin’s mother. She is a Washington, D.C., dermatologist whose web site states she is considered “to be one of Washington, D.C.’s leading cosmetic dermatologists.” The web site encourages people to always apply sunscreen with at least an SPF15 rating.

Based on video images of Berzin and her son — who both appear pale in the story — it is likely they don’t get a lot of sun.

It was the stomach pain that got Dr. Berzin to take her son to a pediatrician, NBC reported. “Doctors tested him for everything from arthritis to muscular dystrophy to Lyme disease,” the story reported. The tests ultimately showed he was severely deficient in vitamin D and was put on 50,000-international-unit-weekly supplements for an eight-week period.

“Within about two to three weeks he started feeling a lot better — he grew immediately about two inches,” Dr. Berzin said in the NBC-Washington report.

The story did correctly report that 70 percent of children are believed to be vitamin D deficient, and that kids not getting outdoor sunlight like they used to is most likely the cause. But doctors in the report only recommended 400 IU of vitamin D daily.

While the story did not mention Benjamin’s vitamin D level, it is likely that it was below 10 ng/ml, based on the symptoms he reported and the level of vitamin D prescribed to him. The number of children below 10 ng/ml has increased significantly in the past generation, according to government data — levels so low that childhood rickets, virtually eradicated in the mid-20th century, is making a resurgence. Overzealous sun avoidance is believed to be the cause.

“While the dermatology lobby has been advising people they don’t need to get sun exposure to make vitamin D – even though sun is the natural and intended way to make vitamin D and getting full-body summer sun makes more than 100 times the vitamin D supplemented into a glass of milk — here’s an example of a dermatologist who clearly didn’t know anything about vitamin D deficiency and it was hurting her own family,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “We are glad that Dr. Berzin and her family are in better health; hopefully dermatology can learn something from this story.”

To watch the NBC-Washington report click here.

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