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Obesity and lack of vitamin D in kids may lead to allergies

Reasearchers have found a link between adolescent asthma and allergies, obesity, and vitamin D deficiency

According to a study from The Endocrine Society, severe or uncontrollable allergies and asthma in overweight adolescents could be caused by a vitamin D deficiency, as reported by Medical News Today.

The study included 86 test subjects from the ages of 10 to 18 years, 54 of whom were considered overweight by their body mass index (BMI) landing above the 85th percentile in their age group. All the subjects were tested as being vitamin D deficient. The endeavor was aimed at determining whether vitamin D played a factor in increased allergy risk in overweight children..

A subgroup of 39 subjects (19 labeled overweight or obese and 20 with a healthy weight) underwent blood tests to measure their levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is one of the main players in allergic reactions. Of these 39 subjects, 36 (17 overweight/obese and 19 healthy-weight) also underwent measurements of chemical messengers called cytokines that contribute to allergy and asthma, specifically interleukins (IL) 4, 6, 10 and 13 and interferon-gamma.

Scientists did find links between the severity of the subjects' obesity, the adipokine levels and some biochemical measures of allergic disease. The higher the BMI Z-score was – indicating greater obesity -, the higher the level of leptin and the lower the levels of adiponectin and vitamin D.

"The relationship between the BMI-Z 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, " concluded Candace Percival, MD, the lead investigator involved with the study.

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