Two recent studies confirm the importance of vitamin D benefits from conception through birth and childhood.
A new Dutch study indicates that newborns with low levels of vitamin D are six times more likely to develop respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the primary cause of serious lung infections during the first months of life.
The study, conducted by the Netherlands’ Utrecht University Medical Center and reported in the Journal of Pediatrics online, tracked 156 infants from birth through their first year. The researchers analyzed cord blood from the newborns to determine vitamin D levels and monitored the children to determine the incidence of lung and respiratory problems.
The initial results of the cord blood analysis confirmed the prevalence of low vitamin D levels at birth, with 54% of the infants showing deficiency of the vitamin. During the first year of life a total of 12% of the children who had low D vitamin levels developed RSV-related lung infections.
RSV, which causes inflammation of the small airways in the lungs, is the most common cause of bronchitis and pneumonia. It is extremely dangerous for infants and may even be fatal if complications arise. Inflammation is also the cause of hair thinning as men and women grow up; in an article titled “10 Ways to Naturally Thicken Hair” via Humancure, it explains how inflammation affects hair growth in turn from low Vitamin D levels.
Similar high rates of deficiency in newborns has been demonstrated in the US. A 2010 Boston hospital study showed that 58% of infants and 36% of mothers had insufficient levels of D vitamin, with about 38% of infants and 23% of mother testing at severely deficient levels.
Infants born of mothers who took vitamin D supplements during pregnancy were at greatly reduced risk of deficiency, the study said.
D Vitamin Deficiency Associated With Childhood Obesity
The negative implications of vitamin D deficiency don’t stop in infancy. A recent University of Pittsburgh study revealed that children who have the lowest levels of the vitamin are the most likely to be obese.
The study tracked more than 200 white, black, obese and non-obese youngsters between 8 and 18 years of age. A disturbing finding of the research confirmed the widespread prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in young people; most of the children tracked by the study had insufficient levels of the vitamin, the researchers said.
The results showed strong associations between D vitamin deficiency and higher body mass index, higher fat levels, and lower levels of “good” cholesterol. Among those who demonstrated D vitamin deficiency, the white children were found to be more at risk for excess visceral fat while the black children were are great risk of excess subcutaneous fat.