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Today, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than 1 million visitors each month. The field of early embryology has grown to include the identification of the stem cell as not only critical to organogenesis in the embryo, but equally critical to organ function and repair in the adult human. The identification and understanding of genetic malfunction, inflammatory responses, and the progression in chronic disease, begins with a grounding in primary cellular and systemic functions manifested in the study of the early embryo.

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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts | News Archive June 21, 2013

 
Recently, medical research has linked vitamin D deficiency to a number of diseases,
including cancer, obesity and autoimmune disease. Low vitamin D levels havebeen
found in girls with precocious puberty, as well, although the exact relationship between
vitamin D deficiency and early development remains unclear.







WHO Child Growth Charts

 

 

 

Vitamin D may delay precocious puberty in girls

Among girls, puberty generally begins between the ages of 10 and 14. Boys undergo puberty later, usually between 12 to 16 years of age. Precocious puberty is diagnosed in girls when sexual development begins before the age of 8; in boys, it is diagnosed when these changes occur before age 9.

Recently, medical research has linked vitamin D deficiency to a number of diseases, including cancer, obesity and autoimmune disease. Low vitamin D levels have been found in girls with precocious puberty, as well, although the exact relationship between vitamin D deficiency and early development remains unclear.

The results were presented Monday at ENDO Society 2013 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

To determine how low vitamin D deficiency is related to precocious puberty, investigators in the current study compared blood levels of the vitamin between girls with early and normal development.


Researchers found that girls with precocious puberty were significantly more likely than those with age-appropriate development to have a severe vitamin D deficiency. Among the precocious puberty group, 44 percent had a severe deficiency in vitamin D, compared to 21 percent of the group with age-appropriate physical development.

Additionally, investigators examined the activity of neurons responsible for stimulating the release of a hormone that triggers the ovulation process. Specifically, investigators used the neuron-stimulating compound called N-methyl-D-aspartate, or NMDA, to activate the neurons responsible for releasing gondadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH.

They found that vitamin D was associated with a suppression of the NMDA-mediated neuronal activities on GnRH neurons.


"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," said study lead author Min Sun Kim, MD, PhD, assistant professor at Chonbuk National University Medical School in Jeonju, South Korea. "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."

Study participants included 110 girls between the ages of 7 to 10 years. Seventy-five girls exhibited normal patterns of development, while 35 were classified as having precocious puberty. Investigators used the Tanner scale, which assesses human physical development, to differentiate normal versus precocious pubertal development.

According to Kim, more research, including studies in animal models, is necessary to confirm this project's findings.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 16,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter.

Original press release:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/tes-vds061613.php