New York: Higher intake of foods containing vitamin D during pregnancy may reduce the risk of children developing allergies, a study reveals.
However, intake of vitamin D supplemets may not confer the same benefits, the study said.
Foods that contain vitamin D include fish, eggs, dairy products, mushrooms and cereals.
“This study may influence nutritional counselling and recommendations to expectant moms to include vitamin D-rich foods in their diets,” said Supinda Bunyavanich, assistant professor at the Mount Sinai School Of Medicine.
Vitamin D modulates the immune system, and its potential role in asthma and allergy has been of interest, the researchers noted.
The study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that it is important to consider the source of nutrients in a mother’s diet.
The research team conducted a prospective study of 1,248 mothers and their children in the US over time, from the first trimester of pregnancy until the children grew about seven years old.
They found that higher intake of food-based vitamin D – equivalent to the amount of vitamin D in an eigh-ounce (236.5 ml) serving of milk per day – during pregnancy was associated with 20 percent less hay fever at school age.
However, there was no risk reduction linked to vitamin D intake by supplement, the researchers added.