The risk of ADHD was 34 percent higher in children whose mother had a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy than in those children whose mother’s vitamin D level was sufficient during the first and second trimesters. The result was adjusted for maternal age, socioeconomic status and psychiatric history.
“Alongside genotype, prenatal factors such as vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, can influence the development of ADHD” says MD Minna Sucksdorff from the University of Turku, Finland.
The study is the first population-level research to demonstrate an association between low maternal vitamin D level in early to mid-pregnancy and an elevated risk for diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD in the offspring.
The study included 1,067 children born between 1998 and 1999 diagnosed with ADHD in Finland and the same number of matched controls. The data was collected before the current national recommendation in Finland for the intake of vitamin D during pregnancy, which is 10 micrograms per day throughout the year.
Vitamin D deficiency still a problem
The primary investigator, Professor Andre Sourander says that, despite the recommendations, vitamin D deficiency is still a global problem. In Finland, for example, mothers’ vitamin D intake among several immigrant groups is not at a sufficient level.
“This research offers strong evidence that a low level of vitamin D during pregnancy is related to attention deficiency in offspring. As ADHD is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, the research results have a great significance for public health” says Professor Sourander….
10 mcg is still only 400 IU…