Obese mothers risk to have babies with low vitamin D levels
According to research conducted by scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, women who are obese in early pregnancy have a higher risk of having babies with lower levels of vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin. The results show that children born to lean mothers have a vitamin D level about 3 times higher than children born to obese mothers. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The fact that the level of vitamin D is lower in the obese is not new because there have been studies showing this so far. In the study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, it is revealed that both obese and lean women have normal levels of vitamin D in early pregnancy but children born to obese women have lower levels of this vitamin at birth.
L. Jami Josefson, MD, first author of the study, said that almost all pregnant women who participated in the study said they took prenatal vitamins and this may be the explanation for the fact that they had normal levels of vitamin. Josefson said that a possible explanation of the low level of vitamin D in children born to obese women is that it could be stored in adipose tissue.
It should be noted that the study is part of a more extensive project, which aims to highlight the link between birth weight and obesity that may develop later in life. Researchers have sought to analyze vitamin D levels too because deficiency of this vitamin is linked to many health problems, which include obesity.
Researchers measured vitamin D levels in pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy and in babies immediately after birth. There have been taken into account several parameters: body fat, weight, volume of the babies, etc. Josefson said the study revealed that children with high levels of vitamin D also had more body fat, which is a new thing. This finding contrasts with other studies published so far that have shown that the relationship between vitamin D levels and body fat is inverse. In other words, the amount of body fat is correlated with the level of vitamin D.
Josefson added that she is intending to do other studies in order to clarify the role of vitamin D in healthy children: Obese women may need larger amounts of vitamin D supplementation to provide their babies with sufficient levels of vitamin D while they are in the womb, she said.