Vitamin D and calcium status in South African adolescents with alcohol use disorders
Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.
The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.com/journal/nutrients
Adequate vitamin D and calcium are essential for optimal adolescent skeletal development. Adolescent vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency and poor calcium intake have been reported worldwide. Heavy alcohol use impacts negatively on skeletal health, which is concerning since heavy adolescent drinking is a rising public health problem. This study aimed to examine biochemical vitamin D status and dietary intakes of calcium and vitamin D in 12–16 year-old adolescents with alcohol use disorders (AUD), but without co-morbid substance use disorders, compared to adolescents without AUD. Substance use, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) concentrations, energy, calcium and vitamin D intakes were assessed in heavy drinkers (meeting DSM-IV criteria for AUD) (n = 81) and in light/non-drinkers without AUD (non-AUD) (n = 81), matched for age, gender, language, socio-economic status and education. Lifetime alcohol dose was orders of magnitude higher in AUD adolescents compared to non-AUD adolescents. AUD adolescents had a binge drinking pattern and "weekends-only" style of alcohol consumption. Significantly lower (p = 0.038) s-25(OH)D (adjusted for gender, smoking, vitamin D intake) were evident in AUD adolescents compared to non-AUD adolescents. High levels of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency (s-25(OH)D < 29.9 ng/mL) were prevalent in both groups, but was significantly higher (p = 0.013) in the AUD group (90%) compared to the non-AUD group (70%). All participants were at risk of inadequate calcium and vitamin D intakes (Estimated Average Requirement cut-point method). Both groups were at risk of inadequate calcium intake and had poor biochemical vitamin D status, with binge drinking potentially increasing the risk of the latter. This may have negative implications for peak bone mass accrual and future osteoporosis risk, particularly with protracted binge drinking.