February 20, 2009 07:51
A new finding suggests vitamin D insufficiency can stunt growth and help weight gain. According to a study on 90 women aged 16 to 24, conducted by scientists from McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the University of Southern California, a low vitamin D level in blood can cause shortness and high body mass index.
Dr. Lee Dong-ho, of Bundang Seoul National University Hospital, said, "A lack of vitamin D causes fat to accumulate in the body, since it helps metabolize fat."
According to the research, thick subcutaneous and intra-abdominal fat was found in women with insufficient vitamin D.
The thickness of this fat averaged 203.3 sq.cm and 24.74 sq.cm, respectively in the group with a normal amount of vitamin D in their blood, while it amounted to 288.1 sq.cm and 44.8 sq.cm in the group with insufficient vitamin D.
The height of the former group averaged 164.1 cm, but that of the latter was 162.2 cm, showing lack of vitamin D is also linked to shortness of height.
Lee said, "Since vitamin D is associated with bone formation, it affects growth."
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