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Children With Low Vitamin D Levels May be at Higher Risk of Anemia

Anemia occurs when a person’s body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to its tissues. A recent study suggests that children who are vitamin D deficient may be at a higher risk of anemia than children with sufficient vitamin D levels.


Participants in the study included 937 children between the ages of 9 and 12 who were recruited from 60 schools in Iran. All of the children had their weight and height recorded and gave blood samples after an overnight fast. Thirteen percent of the participants were anemic.


The researchers found that 13% of the children had concurrent low hemoglobin and low vitamin D levels. In the anemic group, 96.8% had low vitamin D levels, compared with 91.6% of the non-anemic group. When the researchers compared the children with the lowest vitamin D levels (less than 25 nmol/L) to those with the highest (greater than 50 nmol/L), they found that the children in the lowest group were three times more likely to have anemia than those in the highest group.


Researchers from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It will be published in the March 2018 issue of Nutrients.


Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles, help with certain allergies, skin protection, bone and blood sugar health and promoting cognitive function and eye health.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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