New research has found that pregnant women who take vitamin D supplements during their pregnancy considerably reduce the likelihood of their infant developing eczema. Eczema is a noncontagious chronic skin condition that causes an individual’s skin to become itchy and dry. While the primary cause isn’t known, the condition may be triggered by allergens or environmental factors.
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in foods such as egg yolks and oily fish. This vitamin, which is also available as a dietary supplement, is also produced in the body when UV rays from the sun trigger vitamin D synthesis.
The study was carried out by scientists at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre, University of Southampton.
The researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial that explored the link between maternal supplementation of vitamin D during pregnancy with children with eczema aged between one and four years of age. They recruited more than 700 pregnant women, then divided the participants into two groups. One group received a placebo while the other received 0.025 mg of vitamin D a day.
The vitamin D dosage of 1,000 IU per day began to be administered from 14 weeks gestation until the infant was born (1000 IU=0.025mg). The researchers used the United Kingdom Working Party criteria to establish the prevalence of eczema in the children. They discovered that infants of mothers who consumed vitamin D daily had lower odds of developing eczema at age one, noting that this wasn’t statistically significant at age two or age four.
In their report, the researchers highlighted that this was the first data to provide evidence of a protective effect of antenatal vitamin D supplementation on the risk of infantile eczema. They added that more studies were required to determine why the vitamin’s effect was reduced at age two and four.
Sarah El-Heis, lead author of the study, stated that the team’s findings showed that infants of mothers who took supplements had a lower likelihood of developing eczema at 12 months, which supported recommendations that vitamin D supplements be taken during pregnancy. The study was part of the Maternal Vitamin D Osteoporosis study, which also discovered that consuming the supplement during this period had long-term benefits for an infant’s bone density at age four.
Other researchers involved include Stefania D’Angelo, Keith M. Godfrey, Elizabeth M. Curtis, Nicholas C. Harvey, Eugene Healy, Cyrus Cooper, Rebecca J. Moon, Hazel Inskip and Sarah R. Crozier.
For children who eventually develop eczema, a number of new products from many companies such as Jupiter Wellness Inc. (NASDAQ: JUPW) can be of help in giving patients a better quality of life despite their diagnosis.
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