Health & Medicine - Posted by Andrew Duff-Southampton on Sunday, June 10, 2012 11:00 - 0 Comments
Kids’ body fat linked to low vitamin D in moms
U. SOUTHAMPTON (UK) — A recent study shows that children of mothers who had low vitamin D status in pregnancy had more body fat when they were six years old.
Low vitamin D status has been linked to obesity in adults and children, but little is known about how variation in a mother’s status affects the body composition of her child.
Low vitamin D status is common among young women in the UK, and although women are recommended to take an additional 10μg/day of vitamin D in pregnancy, supplementation is currently not routine.
Straight from the Source
In new research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists at the University of Southampton have compared the vitamin D status of 977 pregnant women with the body composition of their children.
The differences in the children’s body fat could not be explained by other factors such as mother’s weight gain in pregnancy, or how physically active the children were. The 977 women are part of the Southampton Women’s Survey, one of the largest women’s surveys in the UK.
Siân Robinson, principal research fellow at the University of Southampton, who led the study, says: “In the context of current concerns about low vitamin D status in young women, and increasing rates of childhood obesity in the UK, we need to understand more about the long-term health consequences for children who are born to mothers who have low vitamin D status.
“Although there is growing evidence that vitamin D status is linked to body fatness in children and adults, this research now suggests that the mother’s status in pregnancy could be important, too.
“An interpretation of our data is that there could be programmed effects on the fetus arising from a lack of maternal vitamin D that remain with the baby and predispose him or her to gain excess body fat in later childhood. Although further studies are needed, our findings add weight to current concerns about the prevalence of low vitamin D status among women of reproductive age.”
More news from the University of Southampton: www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/