Attention, future parents! Do you want your baby to grow stronger? New hallmark research from University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland suggests that biological fathers’ vitamin D status prior to conception plays an important role in determining the future height and weight of their children.

As the sun basked Porto, Portugal during the third weekend in May 2017, researchers gathered at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) to discuss, inter alia, vitamin D’s impact on the height and weight of children.

Led by Dr. Cilia Mejia Lancheros, the research team presented its study at the ECO. The researchers analyzed longitudinal data from the Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study to determine paternal vitamin intake. The data were available for 213 and 148 father-child pairs when children were aged 5 and 9 years, respectively. The UCD team concluded, “Paternal vitamin D intake was positively and prospectively associated with off-spring’s height and weight at 5 years old, independent of maternal characteristics, meriting further investigation of familial dietary pathways.”

The researchers noted however that the statistical association was decreased and statistically significant when the children reached 9 years old. They further opined, “One reason this may occur is that father’s nutrition status may somehow influence the health, quality and function of their [sic] germ cells, which are involved in reproduction.”

Why risk the health of unborn children with a vitamin D deficiency? A simple blood test called 25(OH) D, available online and from healthcare practitioners, measures vitamin D levels. The test results pave the way to increase vitamin D intake by acquiring a safe amount of ultraviolet B exposure, and/or supplementing with vitamin D3 soft gel capsules.

For additional information on vitamin D and pre-conception, including vitamin D’s role in reproduction, please consider reading Improving Male and Female Fertility with Vitamin D.

Author’s Note: Find out more about vitamin D by joining the “Vitamin D Wellness” support group on Facebook. Read the award-winning Defend Your Life to discover how you can “Defend Your Life” against a vast array of medical conditions.

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