We usually think of abnormal cholesterol and the health of our arteries as something we should worry about in middle or old age. However, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) begins in childhood. In some people, the disease progresses rapidly in their third decade of life. In others, it doesn’t become threatening until they’re in their 50s or 60s.
Some doctors think the initial lesion in atherosclerosis is high cholesterol infiltrating the inner lining of the arteries, while others think an inflammatory process occurs first, and the inflammatory process lets the cholesterol in.
I have written about vitamin D and arthrosclerosis before. Although I didn’t go into detail, the authors used vitamin D in an animal model to prevent and even help reverse arthrosclerosis.
Now, Doctor Benjamin Nwosu and colleagues, working under senior author Professor Mary M. Lee, all of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have discovered that various abnormal cholesterol metabolites are associated with vitamin D levels in 8-year-old children.