2 November 2011
Low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy could increase the risk of eczema in the first year of a child’s life, an Australian study has found.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 - the major form of circulating vitamin D in the body - in the cord blood of 231 high-risk infants and checked their allergy status at 12 months.
Babies with cord blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 less than 50nmol/L were more than 2.5 times more likely to develop eczema than those with levels greater than 75nmol/L. But no associations were found between vitamin D and allergen sensitisation or IgE-mediated food allergy.
“The role of vitamin D in both skin barrier function and local antimicrobial defence could contribute to protective effects at mucosal and cutaneous surfaces,” the authors wrote.
Last Reviewed: 02 November 2012