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Vitamin D Deficiency May be Tied to Lower Birth Weight, Study Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study finds that a deficiency in vitamin D may be tied to lower birth weight, Health Day reports.

Researchers examined vitamin D levels in blood samples collected from over 2,000 women in the United States who gave birth to full-term babies. The samples were originally taken between 1959 and 1965, but were well preserved. The study found that women with vitamin D levels less than .015 parts per million during their first 26 weeks of pregnancy had babies who weighed an average of about 1.6 ounces less than normal, Health Day says.

Also, women who were deficient in vitamin D during their first 14 weeks of pregnancy were twice as likely to have babies whose weight was in the lowest 10 percent, which raises the risk of dying in the first month or developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes later in life. Study authors said a vitamin D deficiency could also cause a decrease in the hormones required to produce the glucose and fatty acids that provide the fetus with energy, according to Health Day.

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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