Women who do not get enough vitamin D in pregnancy may have children with poorer social and motor skills, according to new research.
The HSE advises that vitamin D is “particularly important” as part of a balanced diet for pregnant women and those planning on having children.
But a new study from the universities of Surrey and Bristol in England found a lack of vitamin D in pregnancy has a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of pre-school age children.
Publishing in the ‘British Journal of Nutrition’, the team examined data from more than 7,000 mothers and their children. They found pregnant women who were deficient in vitamin D were more likely to have children with low scores (in the bottom 25pc) in pre-school development tests.
The tests included kicking a ball, balancing and jumping and using fine motor skills to hold a pencil.
Lead author Dr Andrea Darling, from the University of Surrey, said: “The importance of vitamin D sufficiency should not be underestimated.”