Cm in brief new research from the past fortnight 1

Low vitamin D in pregnancy linked to eating disorders Girls born to women who had low vitamin D during their gestation have double the risk of suffering from an eating disorder as adolescents an Australian study shows. Published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, the study is the first to explore gestational vitamin D and offspring eating disorder risk. Researchers from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and University of Western Australia’s School of Psychology, led by Dr Karina Allen, hypothesised that their findings might be due to differences in exposure to vitamin D (synthesised from sunlight) during gestation. The study analysed 526 Caucasian mother-child pairs from the WA Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Maternal vitamin D was collected at 18 weeks gestation and grouped into quartiles, while child eating disorders were assessed prospectively at 14, 17 and 20 years. The researchers found low maternal vitamin D in the second trimester of pregnancy did predict increased eating disorder risk in female offspring by the time they were 20 years. Offspring eating disorder risk was 1.8 fold higher in the lowest maternal vitamin D quartile (33.3 per cent) than for those in the highest (16 per cent). Vitamin D deficiency befalls older Australian men Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among older Australian men with recent research in the Journal of Nutrition and Ageing linking it to decreased sun exposure, little physical activity, smoking and alcohol intake. The researchers from the Centre for education and Research on Ageing at Concord Hospital in Sydney concluded that their findings emphasise the need to screen and monitor 25(OH) D levels in this group “despite living in a sunny country such as Australia”.

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