Mom's vitamin D levels linked to baby's food allergies
Berlin, Feb 28 : High vitamin D levels in pregnant women may trigger food allergies in their babies after birth, says a new research.
The study conducted by Kristin Weibe's team from Helmholtz used samples from the LINA cohort that the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Germany, established together with the St. Georg municipal clinic between 2006 and 2008.
The long-term study included 622 mothers and their 629 children.
The level of vitamin D was tested in the blood of pregnant mothers and also in the cord blood of the children born. In addition to this, questionnaires were used to assess the occurrence of food allergies during the first two years of the children's lives.
The result: in cases where expectant mothers were found to have a low vitamin D level in the blood, the occurrence of food allergies among their two-year-old children was rarer than in cases where expectant mothers had a high vitamin D blood level.
Conversely, this means that a high vitamin D level in expectant mothers is linked with a higher risk of their children developing a food allergy during infancy.
Vitamin D is believed to strengthen bones, protect against infections particularly during the cold winter months and aid the nervous and muscular systems, the journal Allergy reports.
Especially in the prevention and treatment of rickets, it has been given to babies and infants around the world for around 50 years. However, recent scientific investigations are increasingly questioning the positive aspect of the "bone vitamin", according to a Helmholtz Centre statement.
At the end of the 1990s, for the first time people's attention was drawn to a link between high vitamin D levels and the development of allergies.