Low vitamin D is linked to increased risk factors for heart disease in adults, but researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found that this risk might start as early as childhood. In their study, blood samples were taken from 1,961 children ages one to five years attending well-child visits. Vitamin D levels were compared to total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. Results showed that for every 10 nmol/L increase in blood levels of vitamin D, there was a 0.89 mg/dl decrease in non HDL cholesterol and a 2.34 mg/dl decrease in triglyceride concentrations. This effect was noted even after adjusting for BMI, physical activity, and other confounding factors. The researchers conclude that, “Maybe the factors [including low vitamin D status that lead to cardiovascular disease start in early childhood.”
Birken C, Lebovic G, Anderson L, et al: Association between Vitamin D and Circulating Lipids in Early Childhood. PLoS One, 2015: July 15th.