The Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Mental Health Symptoms in Obese Children

Christos Giannios, Sofia Gennitsaridi, Gerasimos Kolaitis, Nicolas Nicolaides, Ioanna Farakla, Sofia Karampatsou, Ifigeneia Papageorgiou, Penio Kassari, Penelope Papadopoulou, Evangelia Charmandari


Objective: Decreased 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations represent a risk factor for the development of cardiometabolic and mental health disorders in adults. We investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors and mental health symptoms in overweight and obese children, and adolescents with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Patients and Methods: Two hundred and twenty (n=220) overweight and obese children and adolescents [Mean age ± SEM: 10.24±0.17 years; BMI ± SEM: 26.69±0.28 kg/m2; BMI z-score ± SEM: 2.42±0.07; males: 114 (51.8%), females: 106 (48.2%)] with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency were studied prospectively and randomly assigned into the supplementation (n=109) or the control group (n=111). Participants in the supplementation group received 50,000 IU cholecalciferol once a week for 6 weeks followed by a maintenance dose. Blood samples for determination of 25(OH)-vitamin D, endocrinologic and cardiometabolic parameters were obtained at baseline and 12 months later. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was determined twice and the mean value was calculated. Mental health was assessed by questionnaires at baseline and 12 months later. Results: Subjects in the supplementation group had significantly lower BMI (p=0.010), hsCRP (p=0.048) and total cholesterol (p=0.015), and higher HDL (p<0.001) concentrations than the control group. In addition, they demonstrated significantly lower scores in anxiety, attention problems, aggressive behavior, externalizing problems, attention deficit hyperactivity problems and oppositional defiant problems than the control group. Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation may prevent the development of cardiometabolic risk manifestations and may improve anxiety-related, externalizing (behavioral) and internalizing (emotional) problems in overweight and obese children and adolescents with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.



children; vitamin D; treatment; obesity; metabolic syndrome; mental health


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