Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy could improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporotic fracture in a woman's offspring, according to a new study by British researchers (Javaid MK et al. Lancet. 2006;367:36-43).
In a longitudinal study involving 198 children born in 1991 or 1992, the researchers found that children born to mothers with deficient levels of vitamin D (<11 μg/L) had significantly lower whole-body and lumbar spine bone mineral content at age 9 years compared with those whose mothers were “vitamin D replete” (>20 μg/L). Children whose mothers took vitamin D supplements and those born during the summer months (when their mothers were exposed to more UV-B radiation, which helps the body make its own vitamin D) had significantly higher bone mineral content.
Stephenson J. Vitamin D and Pregnancy. JAMA. 2006;295(7):748. doi:10.1001/jama.295.7.748-c