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Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Found To Increase Lifetime Diabetes Risk In Offspring

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Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a process in immune cells that links vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in offspring.


In addition to increasing the lifetime risk of diabetes in her offspring, vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy also raises the likelihood that the mother-to-be herself will develop the condition while carrying the child.

A study published in 2019 found that at 10 to 14 gestational weeks, vitamin D deficiency is associated with a 2.8-fold increased risk of diabetes occurring during pregnancy. Among women with persistent vitamin D deficiency at 10 to 14 and 15 to 26 weeks of gestation, there was a 4.46-fold elevated risk. The researchers concluded that assessment of vitamin D status during early pregnancy may be clinically important.

Other researchers have made similar findings, confirming that pregnant women deficient in vitamin D have a significantly higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

To learn more about the important roles micronutrients play during pregnancy, see parts one and two of the special pregnancy feature article on our website.

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