A recent study reveals that the higher the mother’s vitamin D level during pregnancy, the higher the child’s IQ. To reach the adequate level of vitamin D, supplementation is recommended.
Vitamin D is generally known as “the sunshine vitamin” and new health implications of its deficiency are constantly being discovered. It is essential for the good condition of the bones, for the regulation of immunity and now it has been discovered that it is also essential for the development of human intelligence from the gestational stage.
Researchers from the Seattle Infant Research Institute’s Department of Child Health, Behavior and Development demonstrated in a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, that maternal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are related to the child’s IQ. A higher level of vitamin D in the mother can also lead to a higher IQ in the child.
DOCTORS SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO VITAMIN D LEVELS
The director of the study, Melissa M. Melough, epidemiologist and nutritionist, has ensured that vitamin D deficiency is widespread, both in the general population and in pregnant women. Melough hopes her study can help doctors pay more attention to a good supply of vitamin D, especially in high-risk groups.
Although many pregnant women take vitamin D, Melough explained, it may not be enough to correct an existing vitamin D deficiency. For children, however, a vitamin D deficiency in the mother carries the risk of suboptimal brain and nervous system development.
ALMOST HALF OF PREGNANT WOMEN ARE DEFICIENT IN VITAMIN D
In Melough’s study, about 46 percent of the 1,019 participating pregnant women had a vitamin D level of less than 20 ng / ml. Values between 30 and 50 ng / ml are considered healthy.
The deficiency is more common in people with darker skin. Eighty percent of dark-skinned pregnant women are affected by a vitamin D deficiency, according to Melough.
THE CHILD’S IQ INCREASES WITH THE MOTHER’S VITAMIN D LEVELS
The research was able to verify that the IQ of children between the ages of 4 and 6 was higher the higher the mother’s vitamin D level was during pregnancy.
The children of those mothers who had a vitamin D level of less than 20 ng / ml during pregnancy had an IQ of 96 on average.
If mothers had a vitamin D level greater than 20 ng / ml during pregnancy, their children had an average IQ of 103.3.
The study took into account other factors that could affect children’s IQ, such as smoking, alcohol, maternal IQ, mother’s educational level, etc.
THE SOLUTION IS THROUGH THE INTAKE OF VITAMIN D
“The good news,” says Melough, “is that solving this problem is relatively easy. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone. Also, not everyone can sunbathe regularly (to stimulate the skin’s own vitamin D production). But everyone can take a dietary supplement with vitamin D.”
However, it should be prescribed in a high enough dose, as many women who take vitamin supplements continue to suffer from vitamin deficiency, simply because the dose is too low for them.
OFFICIAL VITAMIN D INTAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE OFTEN TOO LOW
The indoor lifestyle has drastically reduced vitamin D levels. The solution in most cases is to supplement with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
Officially, depending on the country, between 600 and 800 IU of vitamin D per day is recommended, which many experts consider too low. Especially if a deficiency already exists, it usually cannot be remedied with such low doses.
To reach the optimal level of 40-60 ng / mL, according to the recommendations of the Vitamin D Council, a daily intake of 70-80 IU / kg of body weight is needed. A 70 kg adult would require a dose of 5,200 IU / day.
In addition, the action of vitamin D can be optimized by administering cofactors: vitamin A (5,000-10,000 IU), vitamin K2 / MK-7 (150-200 mcg), magnesium (400-600 mg), boron (3- 6 mg) and zinc (15-20 mg).