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Know more: Low vitamin D in pregnant women bad for child development

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Getting a healthy dose of all the nutrients you and your baby need is crucial, and one study sheds light on just how important vitamin D might be. Anindra Siqueira tells you more

We’ve all heard of vitamin D, “the sunshine hormone”, but there’s so much more that the vitamin does for our bodies. It assists in the absorption of calcium, lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, and even helps us stave off depression. But now, a new study ascribes even more importance to the molecule — a vitamin D deficiency in expectant mothers impacts their children’s motor skills as well as social development.

The study found that, at two and a half years of age, the children of pregnant women (who were deficient in vitamin D) were more likely to score low at pre-school development tests for gross and fine motor development than children of women who were not deficient in vitamin D.

At three and a half years of age, these children were found to have slightly hampered social development. However, the good news is that the levels of vitamin D in mothers were not found to affect older children with respect to their IQ and reading ability.

Lead author Dr. Andrea Darling from the University of Surrey, said: “The importance of vitamin D sufficiency should not be underestimated. It is well known to be good for our musculoskeletal systems, but our research shows that if levels are low in expectant mothers, it can affect the development of their children in their early years of life.”

The study was conducted in the UK and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, and Dr. Andrea says that many women with darker skin might need to take a 10-microgram vitamin D supplement every day. However, it is important to consult your doctor when taking these supplements, as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so excesses are not excreted from the body and can lead to a build up to undesirable levels.

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