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Vitamin D status linked to cardiovascular health in childhood

Posted on: August 12, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD

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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.

Vitamin D deficiency accelerates hardening of the arteries. Posted on February 25, 2013 by John Cannell, MD

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.

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3 Responses to Vitamin D status linked to cardiovascular health in childhood

  1. Rita and Misty

    I so agree that it is important to get enough vitamin D throughout the lifespan.

    Yesterday, I took time out of my busy weekend schedule to visit the supermarket for an “experiment.” I wanted to see just what foods were fortified with vitamin D…even miniscule amounts of vitamin D…and either D2 or D3…

    What’s the saying? Inquiring minds want to know….

    Well, I was severely disappointed.

    Yes, milk is fortified with some D…and it appears more often with D2 than D3.

    Some eggs are fortified, but not many.

    However, I found no yogurt, ice cream, or cheese fortified with D.

    And, much to my outright HORROR…most BABY FOODS are lacking in vitamin D.

    Dr. Cannell, I–just like you–truly believe that the prevention of disease may start very early in life. And, yes this is why it is so important to get enough vitamin D throughout the lifespan.

    My concern is that this just isn’t going to happen for mainstream society, unless some sort of action is taken.

    Look, we here all know that the IOM references 20 ng/ml as being sufficient.

    We also know that so many people here in at least the US fall below 20 ng/ml.

    This is disgraceful. It is also unethical. And, it is costly to our overall health care system for those of us motivated by dollars, and I guess we all need to be to some extent.

    I truly believe food fortification is part of the solution, and that even very small amounts of D3 placed in various dairy products and baby food would help get the population at least up to 20 ng/ml. This is a start, and it is a “foot in the door” so to speak regarding the future and higher amounts of fortification.

  2. John

    So true! As a generalization I believe “change” will occur with stories like this one. People are more likely to take care of their children, including unborn children, then themselves. Whenever I read about vitamin D helping an adult disease I wonder the impact of maintaining higher vitamin D levels from the earliest point of life.

  3. Rita and Misty

    I must apologize for my passion, and I hope that it is received in the spirit of concern and friendship…people tell me I am forceful, and this isn’t my intention here (at the moment).

    I agree that people are much more likely to take care of their children, including unborn children, than themselves.

    I agree that many, if not all, diseases get their start very early on in our lives….

    I think that the impact of maintaining higher vitamin D levels from the earliest point of life would have an tremendously altering effect upon our world, in ways we are not even contemplating at this time….

    I am dubious as to whether more stories like this one will immediately change the medical community. Stories such as this one will definitely have effect, but it will take so many more years than we can afford.

    There has to be a better way to create positive and immediate change….

    Let me pleases restate that most baby food jars I examined contained NO D at all.

    What is up with this??

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