Having vitamin D rich diet may help reduce the cholesterol levels in children and have beneficial impact on other risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases, suggests new research.
Children with vitamin D level of more than 80 nmol/l (nanomoles per litre) had lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol levels than those whose vitamin levels were below 50 nmol/l, which is often regarded as a threshold value for vitamin D sufficiency, the study said.
For the study, published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the researchers from the University of Eastern Finland analysed data from nearly 500 children aged between 6 and 8 years.
The researchers added that vitamin D is known to be essential for bone metabolism and its low serum levels increase the risk of rickets, osteomalacia and osteopenia.
Lifestyle factors, such as healthy diet, physical activity and spending time outdoors leading to the production of vitamin D in the skin may be linked to both higher serum vitamin D levels and lower plasma lipid levels, the study said.
Some of the important dietary sources of vitamin D are dairy products and spreads and fish.
In addition to the dietary intake, vitamin D supplement use is also recommended for the general population in several countries.