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Low Vitamin D: A Contributor to Mental Disorders in Children?
June 2, 2011 (Honolulu, Hawaii) — Children with severe mental health disorders, including psychosis, have twice the rate of vitamin D insufficiency as mentally healthy children, new research suggests.

A study presented here at the American Psychiatric Association 2011 Annual Meeting by investigators at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland showed 21% of children with severe psychiatric symptoms requiring residential care had serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels lower than 20 ng/mL (the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] minimum recommended level) compared with 14% of children who were participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III), a population-based study designed to assess the health and nutritional status of children and adults in the United States.

"That is 50% more than children in a normal population, so based on our findings this means that 1 out of 5 kids with severe mental illness has low vitamin D levels," principal investigator Keith Cheng, MD, told Medscape Medical News.

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Connection between vitamin D and mental illness in children

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New study shows links between serious mental illness in kids and vitamin D deficiency

A small study in Oregon fond that children with serious mental illnesses are more likely to be deficiency in vitamin D than children with good mental health. Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University, led by Dr. Keith Cheng, tested vitamin D levels in 67 children (ranging from seven to 17) in a psychiatric hospital. The children had illnesses including anxiety disorder, autism, disruptive disorder, mood disorder and psychotic disorder. They compared these to children in the general, healthy population...

Vieth notes that Vitamin D helps prevent rickets and may lower the risk of influenza or allergy. Some research shows vitamin D boosts mood and reduces risk of depression.

"Modern lifestyles are generally sun-avoiding," he warns. "Of course there is also less vitamin D-forming UVB sunlight available the farther north one goes."

YouTube video:

Metronews Canada, Celia Milne
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/743846

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