Patient & Visitor Information
Centers & Services
A-Z Guide to Departments and Services
Behavioral and Preventive Medicine
The Cardiovascular Institute
Center for Bariatric Surgery
The Comprehensive Cancer Center
Fetal Treatment Program of New England
Graduate Medical Education
Lifespan Community Health Services
Mental Health Services
The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute
The Orthopedics Institute
The Women's Medicine Collaborative
Find A Doctor
Research & Clinical Trials
About Research Studies
Office of the Vice President for Research
Research & Clinical Trials
Help With Applying Online
Lifespan Youth Programs
Workforce S.T.A.T. Program
Lifespan Corporate Services
Diversity and Inclusion
Conditions & Treatment
Articles and Tips
Delivering Health with Care
Quality and Patient Safety
A Message From Lifespan's CEO
Maps & Directions
Patient Financial Services
Technology at Lifespan Hospitals
Facts & Statistics
Total Joint Center at The Miriam Hospital awarded Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval
Lifespan Names Gaylon Stockman Chief Information Security Officer
Researchers Identify Similarities Between HIV-AIDS and Opioid Addiction Epidemics
Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary May Stir Up Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
Miriam Hospital ICU Receives Silver Beacon Award for Exceptional Care
A National Committee Led by a Hasbro Children’s Hospital Adolescent Medicine Specialist Emphasizes the Importance of Vitamin D for Teens
A committee led by Ze’ev Harel, MD, an adolescent medicine specialist from Hasbro Children’s Hospital, recently published a statement citing the importance of vitamin D for teen health. The report, titled “Recommended Vitamin D Intake and Management of Low Vitamin D Status in Adolescents” was published in the June issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. The report was authored by Harel and members of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) bone health subcommittee, of which he is chair.
The position statement recommends that healthy teens receive a supplement of 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Those adolescents at risk for vitamin D deficiencies, such as those who are obese or have dark skin, should take 1,000 IU daily.
Harel and his colleagues cited the negative health effects that are linked to vitamin D deficiency in teens -- even small deficiencies can reduce peak bone mass and increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Research has found when teens who are deficient in vitamin D take the recommended dose they may show improvements in bone mineral content and density. Recent evidence also suggests that taking recommended doses can lead to fewer stress fractures, especially among physically active females.
According to Harel, taking vitamin D supplements is the most efficient way to receive the recommended dose. The body naturally receives vitamin D from sun exposure, but that method also carries the increased risk of skin cancer and sunscreens usually block vitamin D synthesis. And, only small quantities are derived from dietary sources such as fish, eggs, dairy products and breakfast cereals.
“Adolescence is a vital period of development in the human body, so it is crucial that young adults receive the recommended intake of vitamin D to grow and maintain a healthy skeletal system,” said Harel.
Harel currently serves as the chair of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine’s Bone Health Sub-Committee, in addition to being part of the Adolescent Healthcare Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and is a professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.