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.”