Vitamin D Supplementation During Pregnancy Helps Protect Babies Against Asthma

3b2f0462-43ab-4eaf-abbe-62ba227aed14articleimage.jpg

30 May 2017 --- Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy can positively modify the immune system of the newborn baby, according to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. A boost to the immune system could help protect the child against asthma and respiratory infections, a known risk factor for developing asthma in childhood.

The researchers from King's College London studied how taking a supplement of 4,400 IU vitamin D3 per day during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, versus the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 400 IU/day, influenced the immune system of the newborn.

Participants were randomized at 10-18 weeks of pregnancy to high or low doses of vitamin D supplements. The team studied umbilical cord blood from 51 pregnant women to test the responsiveness of the newborn's innate immune system, which forms the body's first line of defense to infection, and T lymphocyte responses, which provide longer-lasting protection.

Blood samples from babies born to mothers supplemented with higher vitamin D3 were found to respond to mimics of pathogen stimulation by greater innate cytokine responses and greater IL-17A production in response to T lymphocyte stimulation. Both types of response are predicted to improve the neonatal defense to infection.

The team believes the effect will likely lead to improved respiratory health in childhood because strong immune responses in early life have been linked to decreased development of asthma.

“The majority of all asthma cases are diagnosed in early childhood implying that the origin of the disease stems in fetal and early life,” says lead researcher, Professor Catherine Hawrylowicz from King's College London.

“Studies to date that have investigated links between vitamin D and immunity in the baby have been observational. For the first time, we have shown that higher Vitamin D levels in pregnancy can effectively alter the immune response of the newborn baby, which could help to protect the child from developing asthma. Future studies should look at the long-term impact on the immunity of the infant.”

“Vitamin D is a promising area of research for asthma. However, this study is just the first step of many needed to explore this topic. Although this study shows that vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy may improve immune responses, much more research is needed to prove whether this does, in fact, lead to reduced asthma rates later in life,” says Dr. Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK.

Vitamin D is produced by the body through exposure to the sunshine or obtained from foods such as fatty fish and egg yolk, and helps the body control calcium and phosphate levels. Vitamin D levels have been linked to a range of health issues including cardiovascular disease and cancer. A recent study on vitamin D and male fertility has suggested that vitamin D has an effect on many aspects of fertility in both genders, including influencing production and maturation of sperm cells in men, egg cell and uterine lining maturation in women, and sex hormone production in both sexes.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Debut: Califia Farms launches first dairy-free probiotic yogurt

23 Feb 2018 --- Dairy alternatives manufacturer Califia Farms has launched a breakthrough line of dairy-free yogurt drinks made with the Califia Culture Blend. This distinct trio of 10 billion live, active probiotic CFUs is powered by BB-12, a strain developed by Chr. Hansen for dairy alternatives last year. Califia Farms is the first to batch ferment the BB-12 strain in a non-dairy yogurt. 

Food Research

Consumers want industry to deliver on nutritious food, without compromising on quality: survey

23 Feb 2018 --- Consumers across EMEA want the food and beverage industry to focus on developing healthier, more nutritious food, according to new research commissioned by Ingredion. In fact, 60 percent of respondents said they feel this should be manufacturers’ top priority. However, consumers made it clear that the food industry must ensure that food quality and freshness is not sacrificed as a result. 

Nutrition & Health News

BASF targets fatty liver disease with US launch of Hepaxa product

23 Feb 2018 --- BASF is launching Hepaxa to help patients manage non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in what the corporation describes as “the first dedicated product in the US” to potentially assist tens of millions of patients with one of the most common forms of chronic liver disease. And it could begin to “turn around” non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in as little as six months, according to BASF executives. 

Nutrition & Health News

Naturex targets oral care market with microbiota-balancing natural active

22 Feb 2018 --- Naturex has launched Bucovia, a natural bio-guided fractionated active aimed at effectively supporting mouth health. Current oral healthcare solutions include biocides (antiseptic or antibiotic), synthetic ingredients that wipe out both good and bad mouth bacteria and increase the virulence of Candida. Naturex’s new solution is composed of active compounds from Solidago virgaurea, a European plant containing saponins that are effective in controlling the growth of mixed fungal-bacterial biofilms. Bucovia regulates Candida albicans genes involved in biofilm formation and inhibits its bacterial partners. 

Nutrition & Health News

Drink up: Wine polyphenols may improve oral health

22 Feb 2018 --- Wine polyphenols might be good for your oral health, researchers report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Previous research had already pointed to the heart and colon health benefits of sipping wine, which are possibly due to the beverage's abundant and structurally diverse polyphenols.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/vitamin-d-supplementation-during-pregnancy-helps-protect-babies-against-asthma.html