Scientists at the University of Southampton revealed a link between higher levels of vitamin D during pregnancy and better muscle development in children.
The study showed that women with high levels of vitamin D in the latter stage of pregnancy were more likely to have children with greater muscle strength.
Dr Nicolas Harvey, who conducted the trial, said that there may be long term advantages of higher muscle strength, with low grip strength being related to poor health such as diabetes, falls and fractures. It will also potentially help to reduce the burden of illness associated with lack of muscle mass in old age.
Following these findings, a survey of 500 adults found that more than 90% of mums were not advised about the importance of vitamin D during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Andrew Thomas, managing director at survey commissioner's BetterYou, said: “We cannot stress enough the need for vitamin D in pregnant women. It is an area of such concern, that it was recently discussed in the House of Commons.
“Babies are born with around half of the mother's vitamin D levels, and as only 10 per cent of the body’s requirements are satisfied by diet, it is more important than ever that pregnant women’s vitamin D levels are at an optimum. But we know that knowledge of vitamin D amongst mums and health care practitioners is poor.
“Traditional oral supplements, like food, require sufficient hydrochloric acid within the stomach to break down the formulation for digestion; however Cardiff University trials show the effectiveness in supplementing a number of key nutrients through sublingual application, including vitamin D, where the formulation is directly absorbed into the bloodstream via the membranes in the mouth.“
For more information visit www.betteryou.com