June 18, 2013
As reported by Newswise, the study aimed to determine whether vitamin D deficiency played a role in the increased allergy risk in overweight youth. Researchers examined 86 subjects ages 10 to 18 years, and as determined by their body mass index (BMI), 54 subjects were overweight or obese, while 32 were at a healthy weight. All subjects had a vitamin D blood test called serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and all obese subjects were vitamin D insufficient.
The increased risk for asthma and allergies, and for more severe cases of allergic disease, in overweight and obese adolescents has not previously been understood," said Candace Percival, M.D., lead investigator. However, past research has shown that vitamin D is important for a normal immune system and that vitamin D deficiency is common in obese individuals."
Researchers found significant correlations between the severity of the subjects' obesity, the adipokine levels (hormones that originate in fat cells) and some biochemical measures of allergic disease.
The relationship between the BMI score and the adipokines and markers of allergic disease seemed to depend on the vitamin D deficiency seen in the more obese patients, leading us to conclude that the increased risk for allergy in obesity may be mediated by vitamin D to some degree," Percival said. This is the first study, to our knowledge, that ties together the relationship of vitamin D deficiency and increased allergy risk and severity in obese and overweight adolescents."
Previous research also indicated obesity can lead to vitamin D deficiency.
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