The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    More evidence of vitamin D deficiency in adolescents

    Researchers in Georgia and Massachusetts measured the vitamin D status of black and white adolescents in the southeastern United States and the relationship with adiposity.

    First, the details.

    • Blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were measured in 559 adolescents.
    • Fat tissues, physical activity, and cardiovascular fitness were also measured.

    And, the results.

    • The overall prevalences of vitamin D insufficiency (less than 75 nmol/L) and deficiency (less than 51 nmol/L) were 56% and 29%, respectively.
    • Blacks had significantly lower vitamin D levels in every season vs whites.
    • After adjusting for age, gender, race, season, height, and sexual maturation, there were significantly lower levels of vitamin D vs all adiposity measurements (BMI percentile, waist circumference, total fat mass, percentage of body fat, visceral adipose tissue, and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue).
    • There were significant positive associations between higher vitamin D levels and greater vigorous physical activity and cardiovascular fitness.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Low vitamin D status is prevalent among adolescents living in a year-round sunny climate, particularly among black youths.”

    But most interesting to me is the association between lower vitamin D levels and less vigorous physical activity and cardiovascular fitness.

    The authors tell us that based on approximately a decade of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in adolescents increased from 28% to 48% and that of vitamin D insufficiency increased from 66% to 81%.

    Vitamin D deficiency wasn’t a big problem when I was in my teens. But then, I spent my summers in the park in supervised activities and 3 times a day soft ball games. This “new” deficiency, as covered here, appears to parallel changes in a preference for leisure time activities over the past 10 to 15 years.

    5/9/10 20:04 JR

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