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New study finds vitamin D may be related to myopia in adolescents

Posted on: April 21, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


Recently, researchers in South Korea have found that vitamin D levels may relate to severity of myopia.

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition in which light coming into the eye doesn’t focus correctly. People with myopia are unable to see distant objects in focus, but can see objects up close in focus.

Previous research has found that spending more time outdoors may help protect against developing myopia. This has led some researchers to speculate that vitamin D may play a role in myopia, as outdoor sun exposure is the main way for humans to produce vitamin D.

In the present study, researchers at the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea looked at data from a national sample to determine if vitamin D relates to myopia.

They used data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). KNHANES is an ongoing population-wide survey that collects data on health and nutritional status of people in South Korea.

The researchers looked at data from 2,038 people aged 13 to 18 years old who had participated in KNHANES. The researchers examined their vitamin D levels, and noted whether they had myopia, and how severe their myopia was.

They wanted to know if vitamin D levels were related to the prevalence and severity of the condition.

Of the 2,038 participants, 80.1% had myopia and 8.9% had very severe myopia. The researchers found that vitamin D levels were related to severity of myopia. This means lower vitamin D levels were related to more severe myopia among the participants.

“We found a significant association between low serum [vitamin D] concentration and myopia in Korean adolescents aged 13 to 18 years,” the researchers stated.

The researchers called for efforts to raise vitamin D levels among children through supplementation and outdoor activity in order to prevent the development of myopia.


Choi, J. et al. Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Is Associated With Myopia in Korean Adolescents. Clinical and Epidemiologic Research, 2014.

1 Response to New study finds vitamin D may be related to myopia in adolescents

  1. [email protected]

    I’m going to speculate that it’s not so much the vitamin D as the outdoor activity that results in less myopia for kids who spend more time outdoors. Kids who are indoors all the time (probably reading a lot, especially in Korea) are using their eyes for closeup work most of the time. This probably affects development of the eye as the kid grows, in such a way as to result in myopia. I know, for example, that after inuit children began to be schooled, their rate of myopia skyrocketed.

    I have no doubt that lack of D has a lot of detrimental effects on the human body, but I doubt myopia is one of them.

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