Azara Blog: Vitamin D in mothers helps children grow stronger bones

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Date published: 2006/01/06

The BBC says:

Giving pregnant women vitamin D could mean their babies grow stronger bones in later life, a study suggests.

A study of 198 mothers indicated the children of those who lacked the vitamin, crucial for calcium absorption, had weaker bones at nine.

Those who took supplements or were exposed to more sunlight, which helps the body grow its own vitamin D, had children with greater bone densities.

The research from Southampton General Hospital is published in the Lancet.
Professor James Walker of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the study demonstrated the importance of having adequate levels of vitamin D in pregnancy, both for the mother and her baby.

But he said it demonstrated that women who had adequate vitamin D levels were fine, and it was "only when levels were deficient that there was a problem".

"More vitamin D is not necessarily good," he said. "Therefore, no woman should take extra vitamin D in pregnancy unless recommended by their doctor."

Is this supposed to be surprising? And unfortunately the spin put on this story, as exemplified by the first paragraph, might end up doing more harm than good, as is made clear in the last paragraph. These "health" stories get far too much prominence in the media.

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