Vitamin D And Food Allergies

Food allergies are no joke, so moms may wonder what they can do to reduce the risk in their baby. Recent research suggests that too much vitamin D during pregnancy may be the culprit.

Vitamin D in pregnancy

Pregnant women are advised to take prenatal vitamins, but research out of Germany warns against the use of additional vitamin D supplements. Why? They have found a link between high vitamin D levels during pregnancy and food allergies in children.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a valuable asset in a healthy person’s arsenal -- it can help strengthen bones as well as being a really good immune system boost. Vitamin D is produced in your body from sunshine on your skin, and it’s also added as a supplement to cow’s milk as well as being available in supplement form in the vitamin aisle. So it’s a good thing, right?

Research carried out by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg in Germany wanted to know if there is a correlation between high vitamin D levels during pregnancy and a higher incidence of food allergies in the baby. To find out, they took blood samples from both the pregnant mother and the cord blood to detect vitamin D levels, and followed the families for two years to determine if food allergies were an issue. In total, they studied 622 mothers and their 629 children.

They discovered that the higher the vitamin D level was in the mother, the more likely it was that the child suffered from food allergies.

"Based on our information, an excess of vitamin D can increase the risk of children developing a food allergy in the first two years of their life,” said Dr. Kristin Weiße, who was a member of the research team.

What this means for you

The researchers admit that there are many factors that can influence the development of food allergies, such as family history and exposure to the allergen. This research indicates that excessive vitamin D may be the culprit, but it doesn’t outline how much is too much. Just last month, it was found that low vitamin D levels can lead to low birth weight.

The recommended dose is 4,000 IU, which should be what is in most prenatal vitamins, so that may be the best amount.

More on prenatal nutrition

What not to eat
10 Foods every pregnant woman should eat
Caffeine during pregnancy may affect birth weight

Tags: food allergies

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