A recent study claims that moms who have low vitamin D levels during pregnancy may give birth to kids with language issues, Reuters Health reports. The study was performed by Andrew Whitehouse, a professor at the University of Western Australia. Whitehouse and his colleagues have measured the vitamin D levels of 700 pregnant women to determine their effects on the development of the fetus.
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients influencing the development of the unborn baby and the evolution of the pregnancy. The mineral has been related to many problems that children usually have, such as, weak bones, asthma and poor growth. A group of scientists at the University of Western Australia has performed a new test to determine whether vitamin D is also related to language development.
The research began twenty years ago. Back then, Andrew Whitehouse measured the vitamin D levels of 700 women who were half-way through their pregnancy. Five and ten years later, scientists tested the children to determine their behavioral and language skills.
Depending on the levels of vitamin D that researchers discovered during the first tests, they separated the moms into four groups ranging from the lowest to the highest level of minerals. After comparing the results of the moms with the ones of the kids, doctors discovered that the emotional and behavioral issues were the same irrespective of the mother’s vitamin D level.
Things are a little bit different when it comes to comparing vitamin D levels and children’s language skills. The results have shown that the kids whose mothers belonged to the low level group were more likely to develop language impairments than the rest of the children. This fact was established through a series of vocabulary tests that were applied to the kids.
Further researches need to be performed in order to find out whether there is indeed a cause-effect relationship between vitamin D and language issues, says Whitehouse. Until then, scientists at the University of Western Australia want to make sure that language problems are not caused by other factors, such as, obesity before pregnancy.