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Vitamin D in Pregnancy Critical for Brain Development

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Vitamin D in Pregnancy Critical for Brain Development

Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could hinder babies' brain development, impeding their mental and motor skills. Researchers from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) measured the level of vitamin D in the blood of almost 2,000 women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy and evaluated the mental and motor abilities of their babies at about 14 months of age.

The researchers found that children of vitamin D-deficient mothers scored lower than those whose mothers had adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin."Lower scores in these tests could lead to lower IQs among children”, said Dr. Eva Morales, a medical epidemiologist in CREAL in Barcelona.

In fact, according to this study as part of INMA project, the difference between four and five points in this type of neuropsychological tests could reduce the number of children with intelligence above average (IQ by out of 110 points) more than 50 percent, according to Morales said.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, concludes that 20% of women had deficient levels of vitamin D and another 32% had insufficient levels of the vitamin. However, Dr. Morales added that "you do not need to take vitamin supplements only follow a balanced diet and healthy as possible and enjoy the sunshine."



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