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Vitamin D supply during pregnancy may be linked to offspring’s muscle strength

January 27, 2014

According to a new study from the United Kingdom, adequate blood vitamin D concentrations of mothers during pregnancy may increase muscle strength in their children.

The observational study measured the vitamin D blood concentrations of 678 women in late stages of pregnancy, and the grip strength and muscle mass of their children who were four years of age (1). The study results showed that the mothers with higher vitamin D levels had offspring with greater grip strength. Maternal vitamin D levels were not significantly associated with the lean mass of the offspring.

The researchers commented that the association between maternal vitamin D supply and offspring muscle strength may well have consequences for later health. Muscle strength peaks in young adulthood before declining in older age and low grip strength in adulthood has been associated with poor health outcomes, including diabetes, falls and fractures. It has been well established that vitamin D plays a role in grip and muscle strength (2). Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to lower muscle strength in both children and adults, while some trials indicate that increased vitamin D intakes may improve strength and muscle fiber size.

References

  1. Attwood B. Maternal Antenatal Vitamin D Status and Offspring Muscle Development: Findings from the Southampton Women's Survey. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2014; 99(1).
  2. Redzic M. et al. Relationship between 25-hydoxyvitamin D, muscle strength, and incidence of injury in healthy adults: a systematic review. Nutr Res. 2013; 33(4):251–258.