Low Vitamin D Levels In Pregnancy Linked To Language Problems In Children

By admin
April 12, 2012

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that women with low levels of vitamin D in their blood during pregnancy increase their odds of having a child with language problems.

Of the 743 pregnant women who participated in the study, those with the lowest amounts of vitamin D in their blood during their second trimester of pregnancy (18th week) were nearly twice as likely to have a child with language difficulties compared to women with the highest levels of the vitamin.

These findings held true even when researchers took into account other factors that could have influenced the results, such as the mother's age during pregnancy, whether she smoked, as well as family income and medical history.

While researchers did not find a link between vitamin D levels and a child's emotionalĀ or behavioral development, reduced levels of vitamin D were connected to language learning problems when a child reaches school age.

Scientists suspect that having solid levels of vitamin D, also known as the "sunshine vitamin," in the mother's blood while pregnant -- especially during the second and third trimesters -- is critical since this is when certain parts of the fetal brain involved in language-learning develop.

Concluding that "maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of developmental language difficulties among their children," researchers recommend women get the essential vitamin from foods such as salmon, milk, eggs, beef liver, and cheese, or through exposure to sunlight, although this may be a less reliable source for women who limit sun exposure and use sunscreen.

[image via BabyHold]

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