New research conducted by the Southampton General Hospital says that by taking adequate amounts of Vitamin D in pregnancy, mothers confer protection from osteoporosis in their children. In a study of 198 mothers, it was found that taking Vitamin D supplements of sunlight meant that their kids had greater bone densities.
"This is completely new - no one has ever looked at the mother's vitamin D levels before," said lead researcher Professor Cyrus Cooper, adding that these findings proved that maternal levels of Vitamin D "influenced the bone growth of offspring" and also had a say in the development of osteoporosis in later life. "Our study provides direct evidence that the intrauterine environment, as indicated by maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy, is significantly correlated with bone-mineral accrual at age nine years," the authors wrote in the latest issue of the journal Lancet. The research team from Medical Research Council's Epidemiological Resource Centre at Southampton General Hospital also measured the levels of Vitamin D in late pregnancy. Additionally, the levels of the vitamin in cord blood were also tabbed. Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium in the body, which plays a huge role in the formation and health of the bones. "Vitamin D supplementation of such mothers, especially when the last trimester of pregnancy occurs during the winter months, could lead to an enhanced peak bone-mineral accrual and a reduced risk of fragility fracture in offspring during later life," the authors concluded.