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Interest is growing in the potential importance of vitamin D in many aspects of health. While the importance of vitamin D for healthy bones is clear, much less is understood about other effects it might have. We know that vitamin D deficiency is very common in Bradford; we also know that the sort of diabetes that develops in pregnancy (gestational diabetes) is very common. We set out to look at possible connections between these two things.
We studied a group of almost 1,500 BiB mothers who were pregnant in 2008-09; we measured levels of vitamin D and other related hormones in the blood samples women gave at the time of their 26 week glucose tolerance test. Our initial research has shown no association between low vitamin D levels in mothers and the development of gestational diabetes. This suggests that while vitamin D supplements may be important because of other benefits, they are unlikely to have any impact on the development of diabetes.
We plan to look more broadly at possible associations of low vitamin D in mothers, and the health of mothers and babies around the time of birth. There is also potential to explore any associations between vitamin D, childhood infections and other aspects of growth and development in children.
You can read more on this research in the following paper: