Children born with low vitamin D levels are at a higher risk of having high, unhealthy blood pressure, a new study suggests.
Babies whose vitamin D are sub-par at birth are at a 60 percent greater risk of developing high systolic blood pressure between ages six and 18, according to the American Heart Association study.
If a child's mother doesn't get ample vitamin D from food, sun exposure or supplements while she's pregnant, they won't be able to properly absorb the calcium they need to develop strong bones.
And it can have disastrous effects for their cardiac health later in life too, raising their risks of developing heart disease, the number one killer in the US.
The children born with low vitamin D levels were at 60 percent higher risk of having a systolic pressure of over 120
There are no less than 30 essential vitamins and minerals that the body can't produce on its own but needs in order to operate properly.
Vitamin D and phosphorous work together to make sure the concentration of calcium calcium in a person's blood is high enough for the mineral to get deposited in the bones.
It's considered one of the most crucial vitamins and is known to reduce the risk of falls among the elderly by keeping their bones strong.
Research suggests that the benefits of vitamin D may reach far beyond the bones, however.
Adequate vitamin D intake has been linked to lower risks of colon, prostate and breast cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and better mood and lung function.
Vitamin D also seems to help maintain healthy blood pressure in adults.
The latest research, conducted by Johns Hopkins University scientists, suggests it may have equally important effects for developing babies and children.
Researchers there tracked a group of 775 American children for the time they were born up to age 18.
First they measured the vitamin D levels in blood from the newborn children's umbilical cords, then continued to take blood