A new study highlighting seasonal variations in Vitamin D as a factor in brain development has found lower levels of Vitamin D in pregnant women might be associated with certain learning disabilities in children. Researchers in this study found 8.9% of children conceived during the months of January, February and March had some type of learning disability. Only 7.6% of the children conceived in July, August and September had learning disabilities.
Over 800,000 children attending schools in Scotland from 2006 and 2011 participated in this study. The educational needs of these participating children were recorded and correlated to the children’s month of birth. Seasonal variations were a significant factor to conditions like dyslexia, autistic spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. The birth month had no correlation on either sensory or motor/physical impairments and communication, mental or physical conditions.
The first 3 months of pregnancy are considered the critical period for the fetus’s brain growth. Prior studies have shown vitamin D deficiencies can impair neurological development in the fetus. Like folic acid it is recommended that women begin vitamin D supplementation before becoming pregnant or as early as they can.
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