Puberty normally begins at the age of 10 years to 14
years in girls while a little later in boys, usually at the age of 12 years to
16 years. In girls, early onset of puberty is diagnosed when sexual growth and
development occurs before the age of 8 years whereas in boys it is diagnosed
when puberty changes appear before the age of 9 years.
The researchers have established links between
deficiencies of vitamin D to a variety of diseases such as, obesity, cancer and
Precocious puberty in girls has
been attributed to insufficient levels of vitamin D. The scientists said that
the exact association between vitamin D and early onset of puberty is yet
In order to assess the mechanism,
the experts compared the blood levels of vitamin D in girls with normal and
The scientists noted girls with
early onset of puberty had severe vitamin D deficiency as compared to girls
having age-appropriate development.
About 44 percent of girls with
precocious development had severe deficiency of vitamin D and 21 percent of
girls with normal development reported of vitamin D deficiency.
The scientists also analyzed the
role of neurons in stimulating the release of hormones responsible for the
The experts used the
neuron-stimulating compound called N-methyl-D-aspartate, or NMDA
triggering the neurons that is responsible for liberating
gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH.
It was found that vitamin D was
related with the inhibition of the NMDA-mediated neuron activities on GnRH
The lead author Min Sun Kim, MD,
PhD, assistant professor at Chonbuk National University Medical School in
Jeonju, South Korea mentioned, "If we understand more about the action
mechanism of vitamin D on GnRH neuronal activities, we can find a clue to
control of precocious puberty using vitamin D or related molecules."
Prof. Min Sun Kim further added,
"Our results suggest that vitamin D may inhibit early pubertal onset
and/or the rapid progression of puberty, at least in part, through the
suppression of NMDA-mediated GnRH neuronal excitation in humans."
Around 110 girls in the age group
of 7 to 10 years were enrolled for the study.
development was noted in about seventy five girls while precocious puberty was
seen in thirty five girls.
Tanner scale was used for
assessing physical development to differentiate precocious development versus
normal growth and development.
Kim said that further research was required to find
out the actual relationship between vitamin D deficiency and early puberty in