Decreased vitamin D status is common among young women in the UK, and although women are recommended to take an additional 10g/day of vitamin D in pregnancy, supplementation is currently not routine. Insufficient levels of vitamin D have been associated to obesity in children and adults, but not much is known regarding how a mother’s status affects her child. In the context of current concerns about low vitamin D status in young women, and increasing rates of childhood obesity in the UK, more about the long-term health consequences for children who are born to mothers who have low vitamin D status should be known. Vitamin D status is linked to body fatness in children and adults the mother’s status in pregnancy could be important too.
Children tend to have more body fat during childhood if their mother has low levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy. Children who are born to mothers who have low vitamin D status in pregnancy have more body fat when they are six years old. 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. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D is 600IU (15 micrograms) per day for adults. This number is considered way too low by many scientists, since the human body can produce more than 10.000 IU of the vitamin in 20-30 minutes of full-body sun exposure. Based on that, it does make a lot of sense that the body would need a lot more Vitamin D. a pregnant women’s body needs vitamin D to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorus, which help build baby’s bones and teeth. Pregnant women get 200 IUs (5 micrograms) of vitamin D each day if they’re not exposed to adequate sunlight. This amount isn’t nearly enough.
Maternal vitamin D insufficiency might be associated with reduced size at birth, but accelerated gain in body fat during early childhood, add to the considerable amount of evidence suggesting that vitamin D status during pregnancy may have critical effects on the later health of offspring. A diet rich in vitamin D is strongly recommended for pregnant women. Fish liver oil, fatty fish, and fortified milk, egg, and cereal products all contain vitamin D. Be sure to check food labels: Some eggs, cheeses, yogurts, and cereals are fortified while others aren’t. Also, all milk is vitamin D fortified.