Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy May Be Linked To Child's IQ: Study
Your child's bright brains might depend on your intake of vitamin D during pregnancy.
Vitamin D intake is important for everybody, including pregnant mums who want their babies to grow with healthy and strong bones.
In fact, according to a new study originally published in The Journal of Nutrition, the role of vitamin D during pregnancy does not only benefit the baby’s body growth. Researchers have found that vitamin D levels among pregnant mothers may have a link to their child’s IQ.
High Vitamin D Levels For High IQ
The study found that while the mother passes her vitamin D supply to her baby in utero, it helps in regulating processes including the child’s brain development.
Melissa Melough and her fellow researchers used data from the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood (CANDLE) study where they invited pregnant mothers to analyse the growth of their children. They started in 2016 and collected information through the years on their children’s health and development.
After they controlled several factors related to the child’s IQ, the researchers saw that higher vitamin D levels in pregnancy associated with higher IQ in the children the moment they turned 4 to 6 years old. This suggests that the higher a pregnant mother’s vitamin D levels go, it would mean more chance of her child to have higher IQ scores.
While they did mention their findings could not prove causation, Melough believed they still had important implications for further research.
Vitamin D Deficiency
The study also covers how vitamin D deficiency has become too common among the public including pregnant women. Black mothers were said to be at greater risk of this as well as they may have lower levels of vitamin D.
With this conclusion, the authors of the research hope this will help develop nutritional recommendations for mothers during pregnancy.
‘Vitamin D deficiency is quite prevalent,’ says Melough. ‘The good news is there is a relatively easy solution. It can be difficult to get adequate vitamin D through diet, and not everyone can make up for this gap through sun exposure, so a good solution is to take a supplement.’
Aside from avid sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation, mothers may also have regular foods that have high levels of vitamin D such as fatty fish, eggs, milk and cereals.