According to a new study featured on Science Daily, children whose mothers had higher levels of vitamin D during pregnancy may develop better muscle strength.

Researchers from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU) at the University of Southampton measured the vitamin D levels of 678 pregnant women who were part of the Southampton Women’s Survey.

Once their children were four years old, researchers measured the kids' muscle mass and strength. They found that mothers with higher vitamin D levels bore children with healthier and stronger muscles.

“These associations between maternal vitamin D and offspring muscle strength may well have consequences for later health; muscle strength peaks in young adulthood before declining in older age and low grip strength in adulthood has been associated with poor health outcomes including diabetes, falls, and fractures,” lead researcher Dr. Nicholas Harvey explains.

“It is likely that the greater muscle strength observed at four years of age in children born to mothers with higher vitamin D levels will track into adulthood, and so potentially help to reduce the burden of illness associated with loss of muscle mass in old age.”

Aside from taking supplements, mothers may also obtain their vitamin D from salmon, mackerel, tuna, mushrooms, milk or yogurt, beef, eggs, and cheese.

(Photo by LearningLark via Flickr Creative Commons)

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