The study, conducted in Canada, involved 207 pregnant women. After measuring vitamin D levels in the second or early third trimester in pregnant women, researchers examined the teeth of 135 of their children at an average age of 16 months.
The aim of the study led by Dr. Robert J. Schroth from University of Manitoba's dental school in Winnipeg and his team was to see if low vitamin D levels in mothers during pregnancy have any sort of implications for higher cavity rates in their children.
About a third of the women in the study had too low vitamin D levels. The researchers found 23 to 36% of the toddlers had cavities. All the toddlers who had cavities were born to those women who had significantly lower prenatal vitamin D levels.
The study, published in Pediatrics on Monday, established a direct relationship between low vitamin D levels in mothers and higher number of cavities in their toddlers.
Previous studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency in mothers during pregnancy has the potential to cause defects in the enamel of their toddler's teeth.
"Prevention efforts should begin during pregnancy by bolstering maternal nutrition, either through improved dietary intake or supplementation with vitamin D", said the researchers.
About 4000-5000 (International units per day) vitamin D3 should be taken by all pregnant and nursing women. They added that there are numerous benefits for pregnancy outcomes like reduced risk of gestational diabetes, respiratory and other infections, premature delivery, pre-eclampsia, adverse effects on the fetus such as birth defects including very possibly autism.
The study received funds from The Vitamin D Society and the Vitamin D Council to figure out benefits of vitamin.
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