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Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy May Result in Developmental Delays in Infants

Many expecting mothers are vitamin D deficient, which may put their babies at risk, as fetuses are entirely reliant on their mothers for vitamin D. A recent study suggests that maternal serum vitamin D levels may be associated with infant neurodevelopment and anthropometry.


Participants in the study included 160 women who had delivered 160 healthy full-term infants. Half of the group was vitamin D deficient, while the other half had vitamin D levels above 50nmol/L. The researchers followed up with all of the women for six months after they gave birth.


The researchers noted significant differences in weight, length, and/or head circumference at birth between the babies born to mothers in the two groups. They also noted differences in cognitive development and achievement at six months, including a lower Bayley mental score and Bayley motor score in the babies who were born to vitamin D-deficient mothers.


The researchers cautioned that the nature of the study made it impossible to definitively identify causation and that the small sample size of the study group may have affected the results.


Researchers from Wenzhou Medical College in China led the study. It was published in Volume 64 (2018) of the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun, but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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