A new study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation found that vitamin D levels were associated with growth response in children undergoing growth hormone treatment.
Growth hormone treatment is primarily prescribed to replace growth hormone (GH) in deficient individuals. Growth hormone deficiency often results in both physical and psychological symptoms, including growth failure, diminished muscle, social withdrawal and depression.
The main purpose of the treatment is to illicit faster growth within months. GH may cause other benefits, such as improved strength, motor development and reduced body fat.
Researchers recently investigated the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the efficacy of growth hormone treatment. They measured the vitamin D levels of 249 short prepubertal children multiple times before and throughout GH treatment.
Vitamin D levels decreased significantly during GH treatment. During the first year of treatment, vitamin D levels were significantly related to growth response. However, the amount of GH secretion was not associated with vitamin D levels.
The researchers concluded,
“25(OH)D levels were associated with first year growth response to GH and may be a useful contribution to future growth prediction models.”
Andersson B., et al. Seasonal variations in vitamin D in relation to growth in short prepubertal children before and during first year growth hormone treatment. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 2015.