Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could hinder babies’ brain development, impeding their mental and motor skills, a new study suggests.
Researchers in Spain measured the level of vitamin D in the blood of almost 2,000 women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy and evaluated the mental and motor abilities of their babies at about 14 months of age. The investigators found that children of vitamin D-deficient mothers scored lower than those whose mothers had adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin.
"These differences in the mental and psychomotor development scores do not likely make any difference at the individual level, but might have an important impact at the population level," said study lead author Dr. Eva Morales, a medical epidemiologist in the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona.
Overall, lower scores in these tests could lead to lower IQs among children, Morales added. The study was published online Sept. 17 and in the October print issue of the journal Pediatrics.