Women who have higher levels of vitamin D in their bodies while they are pregnant may have babies with stronger muscles, say researchers.
Scientists from the University of Southampton investigated the impact of vitamin D in pregnancy on almost 700 English mothers and their children. Blood samples were taken 34 weeks into the pregnancy and the vitamin D levels were compared with how tightly their children could squeeze a device in their hand at the age of four.
They found that the more vitamin D a woman had in her blood during pregnancy, the greater muscle strength the child had.
It’s thought that there may be long term benefits to increasing muscle strength. Lead researcher Dr Nicholas Harvey told BBC that: “It is likely that the greater muscle strength observed at four years of age in children born to mothers with higher vitamin D levels will track into adulthood, and so potentially help to reduce the burden of illness associated with loss of muscle mass in old age.”
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