Maternal Vitamin D May Be Vital To Childhood Development

Vitamin D and Childhood DevelopmentAccording to new research preventing Vitamin D deficiencies in women who are pregnant may be important for insuring their child’s normal development.

Over 7000 mother child pairs were studied in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children a cohort study.  All pairs were accessed for Vitamin D status (serum total 25(OH)D) levels during pregnancy (for the mother) and at least one measure of child neurodevelopment: Pre-school development at six to 42 months; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores at age 7; IQ (Intelligence Quotient) at age 8; Reading Ability at age 9.  Additional tests assessing the child’s coordination, balancing, jumping, kicking a ball, building brick towers, were performed.

Researchers reported that the children of Vitamin D deficient mothers were more likely to have test scores in the lowest group (the bottom 25%) for pre-school developments tests (gross and fine motor development) when compared to the children of Vitamin D sufficient mothers.  Prenatal Vitamin D insufficiencies were also found to affect the social development of the children at ages 3 and ½.  No associations between maternal Vitamin D status and other outcomes at older ages like IQ or reading abilities were seen.

Researchers concluded that preventing Vitamin D deficiencies in pregnancy may be important to prevent below average development in the first four years of a child’s life.


Study Underscores Positive Effect of Vitamin D on Female Fertility

Vitamin D and Female FertilityNew research linking Vitamin D levels to regulation of ovarian hormones shows Vitamin D status may play an essential role in female reproduction and fertility.

49 women, ages 19 through 25, participated in this study.  The criteria for women to participate in this research were as follows:

Participants must have regular menstrual cycles

Participants could not be pregnant

Participants had not breastfed within the past two months

Participants had not supplemented with Vitamin D

Participants had not travelled to the northern hemisphere

Participants had not used a tanning booth or sunbed

Participants were given a Vitamin D supplement or a placebo during the week after their menstrual period began.  Changes in AMH levels (anti-Mullerian hormone levels) were analyzed. The anti-Mullerian hormone is an ovarian regulator however; its function is largely unknown.  Results of the study showed a single dose of oral Vitamin D generated a sharp change in the serum levels of 25(OH)D (the most accurate measure of Vitamin D in the body).  A progressive rise in the participants AMH levels was also seen.  These findings support the theory the Vitamin D has a positive effect on a women’s fertility and may involve the regulation of AMH levels.

Researchers strongly suggest further clinical studies are needed.


Vitamin D and Calcium May Reduce Onset of Early Menopause

Calcium Vitamin D Early MenopauseA new study shows a reduction in the risk of early menopause when high doses of dietary Vitamin D and Calcium are taken.  Early menopause is associated with higher risks for Osteoporosis, Early Cognitive Decline, Cardiovascular Disease and other health issues.

Over 116,000 female US registered nurses participated in this study.  Individuals between the ages of 25 and 42 in 1989 participated in this study and responded to a questionnaire.  Intakes of Vitamin D and Calcium from both supplements and food were measured every four years and medical conditions and behaviors were measured every two years. Over 2000 women reported having natural menopause before 45 years of age.  Incidents of possible confounding factors were accounted for when evaluating the relationship between the intake of Calcium and Vitamin D and incidents of early menopause.

A 17% lower risk of early menopause was seen in the women who had the highest intake of Vitamin D when compared with the women who had the lowest intake of Vitamin D.  A “borderline significantly lower risk” of early menopause was seen in the women with the highest intake of Calcium when compared to the women with the lowest intake of Calcium.

Further studies are now being undertaken.



Vitamin D Blunts Negative Impact of Statins in Diabetes Patients Post Exercise

Vitamin DA new study shows patients with Type 2 Diabetes who are taking statin drugs and supplementing with Vitamin D improves their cardio respiratory fitness as well as muscle mitochondria.

28 individuals participated in this randomized controlled trial.  Data from the participants upon completion of the trial showed that participants cardio respiratory fitness decreased by 8.4% after 12 weeks of simvastatin therapy. These individuals also experienced a 3.6% decrease in mitochondrial content.   Participants who were taking the simvastatin therapy but were also supplementing with Vitamin D however showed a decrease in cardio respiratory fitness of only .6% and a 12.1% improvement in mitochondrial content.  Participants who only took Vitamin D without the simvastatin therapy saw an increase in cardio respiratory fitness of 7.1% and a 16.7% increase in mitochondrial content.

Researchers believe that the statin simvastatin in inclined to cause a decline in exercise-mediated cardio respiratory fitness in adults with Type 2 Diabetes by interrupting the synthesis of CoEnzyme Q10.


Can Vitamin D Make You Stronger? Study Makes a Case

Vitamin D-Muscle StrengthIn a new study, scientists found that increased levels of active Vitamin D can aid in enhancing muscle strength.  Researchers in this study found that the active form of Vitamin D in the blood, 1,24-dihydorxyvitamin D3 (1a,25(OH)2D3), was strongly associated with some aspects of lower limb strength including jump height, power, and velocity.

116 people made up of 37 men and 79 women ages 20 – 74 participated in the study.  Participants had their Vitamin D levels identified and evaluated.  Additionally physical characteristics like lean mass and body fat as well as medical histories were also recorded.   Researchers found that participants with increased lean muscle mass and bulk had increased levels of the active form of Vitamin D in their blood.  Also researchers found women with a reduced body fat composition were not as likely to have higher levels of the inactive form of Vitamin D in their blood, which is a marker of a Vitamin D deficiency.  Actually researchers were surprised to find that the active form of Vitamin D was associated with lean mass and not body fat which was what they were expecting.

Looking at the different forms of Vitamin D in the same study makes things more complex for researchers trying to understand the role of Vitamin D and muscle function optimization.  Further studies should be completed.


Higher Vitamin D Levels Linked to Longer Telomeres

TelomeresA new study has found increased levels of Vitamin D are associated with longer telomeres.  Telomeres are found at the end of every chromosome and help with keeping our chromosomes protected as well as protecting chromosomes from binding with other DNA or fusing into rings.  Researchers can use the length of a cell’s telomere to determine how many more times a cell will replicate itself, in addition to determining a cell’s age.  Every time a cell replicates the telomeres shorten.  When the telomeres are gone the cell is destroyed (apoptosis).  Based on prior studies telomeres are vulnerable to oxidative stress as well as inflammation.

Data from three groups was analyzed. The groups were determined by age with over 1500 participating adults between the ages of 20 and 39, over 1300 participating adults between the ages of 40 and 59 and almost 1400 participating adults 60 years of age and above.  Researchers found that for every 10-nmol increase in the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D),  the non-active “Storage” form of Vitamin D, there was a .03-kbp longer telomere in leukocytes (white blood cells) in the 40 – 59 year old age group.

Further investigation is needed to access the clinical impact of the results of this study.


Vitamin D Deficiency More Likely A Risk Factor For TB Than Its Consequence

tuberculosisA recent meta-analysis shows that a Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for developing TB not something caused by the disease.

More than one study has linked TB and a Vitamin D deficiency (VDD).  Researchers looked at 38 studies.  In 25 of these studies almost 3,600 patients were TB cases and over 3,000 were control subjects.  The results of the review showed that Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in TB patients when compared to the control groups and VDD was associated with an increased risk of TB.

Over 220 TB patients from 3 studies receiving up to four months of anti-TB treatments and 4 studies with over 390 TB patients who received the full anti-TB treatment course showed that the anti-TB treatment did not have an effect on Vitamin D levels.  Also an additional four studies with over 300 TB cases after anti-TB treatment completion and over 590 control subjects who did not have TB showed that patients Vitamin D levels were still significantly lower than the control subjects after the completion of their anti-TB treatments.

Researchers concluded that more studies would be needed to determine whether Vitamin D Supplementation was actually beneficial to TB treatment as well as TB prevention.