Vitamin D Benefits in Pregnant Women Include Less Risk of Asthma in Babies
We only want the best for our children, right? For pregnant moms who would want to improve the immunity of their babies against allergies, they might want to consume more foods rich in vitamin D.
Findings of a new study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, indicate that pregnant women who eat more vitamin D foods lower the babies' risk for allergies like childhood asthma, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
"Vitamin D is known to regulate the immune system. Therefore, scientists have long sought to discover its potential role in asthma and allergies," the report noted. "Now, a new study has revealed a higher intake of foods containing vitamin D in pregnancy reduces the risk of childhood asthma by 20 percent."
One caveat, however, says that when the vitamin D intake comes in the form of supplements, there are no effects found. Also, according to study lead author Dr. Supinda Bunyavanich, while it has always been a question of what to eat during pregnancy, it is also necessary to include in the consideration the source of nutrition for the expecting mothers.
Another abundant source of Vitamin D is the sunlight. This is the reason why some health experts recommend enough exposure from the sun during the day. As for the food source of the vitamin, it is ideal to eat foods like fish, eggs, dairy products, mushrooms and cereals.
Vitamin D is also necessary for bone health, immunity against colds and in combating depression, says Health.com. While most people get enough vitamin D, there are also those who have vitamin D deficiency.
According to MedicineNet, some of the possible adverse health effects of not getting enough of vitamin D include skeletal diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, cognitive disorders, rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
For those with vitamin D deficiency, other sources apart from sunlight exposure are fortified milk, beef liver, cod liver oil, canned tuna and some types of orange juice.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai took into account more than 1,200 data from mothers and their children in the U.S. These women were asked to drink eight ounce of milk every day or from another food source. The study started from the first trimester of pregnancy until the children reached seven years of age.
The study "may influence nutritional counselling and recommendations to expectant moms to include vitamin D-rich foods in their diets," said Dr. Bunyavanich.