Women who are obese at the start of pregnancy give less vitamin D to their babies than normal-weight mothers, according to the results of a study published on January 4, 2013, by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The study was part of longerterm research to analyze body fat at birth, childhood, and adulthood. The researchers studied 61 women who gave birth at Prentice Women’s Hospital of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, who were either obese or normal weight. Although previous studies have found that people who are obese usually have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood, all participants had similar levels of vitamin D at the start of the study.
The researchers measured vitamin D levels from blood samples collected 36 to 38 weeks into the participants’ pregnancies. They then measured vitamin D levels collected from the umbilical cords immediately after birth. The researchers found that babies born to normal-weight women tended to have higher levels of vitamin D than those born to obese women.
The researchers suggest that obese women may need to take more vitamin D than normalweight women do during pregnancy. Additional research to show how vitamin D affects the health of babies is ongoing.