Levels of vitamin D in pregnant women may not affect the baby’s bone health - contrary to official advice, say scientists.
They found no link between a mother’s levels of the vitamin while carrying the child, and the latter’s bone health at the age of 10.
Current NHS guidance says all pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a 10 microgram vitamin D supplement every day, because it is believed to help build stronger bones in their offspring.
Research: The study showed that there was no obvious link between mothers taking Vitamin D while pregnant and the strength of their children's bones
Professor Debbie Lawlor, who led the Children of the 90s study at Bristol University, said there was ‘no strong evidence’ that pregnant women should be taking vitamin D supplements.’
But other experts said some groups of women such as those getting little sunlight and the obese were more at risk of low vitamin D stores and they should still be encouraged to do so.
The study published in The Lancet medical journal assessed vitamin D levels in 3960 women throughout their pregnancy.
The bone mineral content (BMC), a measure of bone health, of their child was then assessed at an average age of 9.9 years.
Researchers measured vitamin D levels at all stages of pregnancy.
Levels were higher in summer months and lower among non-white mothers and those who smoked during pregnancy, but overall there was no significant link between a mother’s vitamin D levels and her child’s BMC.
The Sunshine vitamin: Those who have limited exposure to sunlight are advised to continue taking the supplements
Dr Tony Falconer, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said ‘We know that Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium in the body, which helps to keep bones and teeth healthy, and low levels have been associated with problems relating to the baby’s bone formation and a higher risk of diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis in later life.
‘Some women are more at risk of having low vitamin D levels, these women include those of south Asian, black African, black Caribbean, or Middle Eastern origin, women who have limited exposure to sunlight, obese women (pre-pregnancy BMI >30) and those who eat a diet low in vitamin D. It is particularly important these women get their required dose.
‘As healthcare professionals, it is our role to reinforce the importance for proper diet and nutrition during pregnancy and throughout a woman’s lifespan.
'It is important that at-risk women are informed, at their first antenatal booking, of the importance of adequate vitamin D during pregnancy and after, to maintain their own and their baby’s health.
‘Further research is needed to look at vitamin supplementation including potential benefits, harms and optimal dosing.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2295550/Taking-Vitamin-D-pregnancy-does-help-babies-develop-stronger-bones.html#ixzz2O0jFhyxE
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