Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can program obesity in children

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

February 14 2018. An article appearing on January 28, 2018 in Pediatric Obesity reports the findings of Vaia Lida Chatzi of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and colleagues of a link between deficient vitamin D levels among mothers and a greater risk of obesity in their children.
The study included 532 mothers from the prospective pregnancy cohort Rhea in Greece. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were assessed at the first prenatal visit, which occurred at an average of 14 weeks gestation. The children’s weight was measured at 4 and 6 years of age.

Approximately two-thirds of the mothers had deficient vitamin D levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter. Children born to deficient women had 2% more body fat and waists that averaged ½ inch larger at 6 years of age compared to same-aged children of mothers whose vitamin D levels were sufficient. “These increases may not seem like much, but we’re not talking about older adults who have about 30 percent body fat,” stated Dr Chatzi. “Even a half-inch increase in waist circumference is a big deal, especially if you project this fat surplus across their life span.”

“We’re not sure why there is vitamin D deficiency even in places with abundant sunshine, but maybe people are spending too much time indoors with their screens or typing away in their office cubicles,” she suggested.

“It’s possible that children of mothers with low vitamin D have higher body mass index and body fat because vitamin D appears to disrupt the formation of fat cells,” Dr Chatzi added. “Optimal vitamin D levels in pregnancy could protect against childhood obesity, but more research is needed to confirm our findings. Vitamin D supplements in early pregnancy is an easy fix to protect future generations.”

—D Dye

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One thought on “Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can program obesity in children”

  1. Marc73 says:

    The answer to avoiding vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy it to stop avoiding the sun. Governments and dermatologists have frightened women away from sun exposure and have thereby created a critical vitamin D crisis. The crisis is not only correlated to obesity in children, but research has shown that it is associated with type-one diabetes, thinner bones, infections and other health problems in our kids. Sun exposure is essential for human health.
    Here are a few facts you should know:
    A 20-year Swedish study demonstrated a 23% reduced risk of all-cause death among those women who used sunbeds (tanning beds).
    •Overall, women who actively seek the sun have half the risk of death compared with those who avoid the sun.
    •A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
    •Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
    •Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
    •Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
    •Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart disease risk.
    •Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
    Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to a properly functioning nervous system.
    For more information: Sunlight Institute website:

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