Vitamin D status and parathyroid hormone in obese children before and after weight loss

Eur J Endocrinol. 2007 Aug;157(2):225-32. doi: 10.1530/EJE-07-0188.


Objective: The roles of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) are discussed controversially in obesity, and studies of these hormones in obese children are limited. Therefore, we studied the relationships between PTH, 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D (1,25-OH Vit D), 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OH Vit D), weight status, and insulin sensitivity before and after weight loss in obese children.

Methods: Fasting serum PTH, 1,25-OH Vit D, 25-OH Vit D, inorganic phosphate, calcium, alkaline phosphatase (AP), insulin, glucose, and weight status (SDS-BMI and percentage body fat) were determined in 133 obese children (median age 12.1 years) and compared with 23 non-obese children. Furthermore, these parameters were analyzed in 67 obese children before and after participating in a 1-year obesity intervention program.

Results: Obese children had significantly (P < 0.001) higher PTH and lower 25-OH Vit D concentrations compared with non-obese children, while calcium, phosphate, AP, and 1,25-OH Vit D did not differ significantly. Changes of PTH (r = 0.23, P = 0.031) and 25-OH Vit D (r = -0.27, P = 0.013) correlated significantly with changes of SDS-BMI, but not with changes of insulin sensitivity (homeostasis model assessment; HOMA-B%). Reduction of overweight in 35 children led to a significant (P < 0.01) decrease of PTH concentrations and an increase in 25-OH Vit D levels.

Conclusions: PTH levels were positively and 25-OH Vit D concentrations were negatively related to weight status. Since these alterations normalized after weight loss, these changes are consequences rather than causes of overweight. A relationship between PTH, vitamin D, and insulin sensitivity based on the HOMA index was not found in obese children. Further longitudinal clamp studies are necessary to study the relationship between vitamin D and insulin sensitivity.

Trial registration: NCT00435734.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height / physiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Puberty / physiology
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D

Associated data