Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

When to start taking vitamin D during pregnancy is a critical decision every woman should consider. If you’re pregnant, you’re at risk for several health problems, such as low birth weight, preeclampsia, and rickets. It’s also worth considering that some studies have shown a connection between vitamin D deficiency and neonatal deaths.

Low birthweight and neonatal deaths

Vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy is linked to several adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. It is also suggested to function in good fetal development by controlling inflammation in the placenta.

Gestational age and stunting were related to vitamin D status in early pregnancy. Lower concentrations were associated with shorter gestation and lower odds of LBW. Significant increases in 25OHD during pregnancy were associated with higher odds of SGA.

Knowing when to start taking vitamin D during pregnancy can avoid preeclampsia. Whether these results are due to reverse causation or residual confounding is unclear. There is no evidence that these associations are mediated by preeclampsia.

A review of 13 studies on the effects of vitamin D supplementation on perinatal and neonatal health was conducted. These studies were included because they were cross-sectional, longitudinal, and ecological.

Increased risk of COVID-19

Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with various adverse pregnancy outcomes, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, and fetal growth limitation. In addition, low vitamin D levels have been associated with multiple chronic health conditions, including respiratory illness, autism spectrum disorder, and premature birth.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in immunity. It helps rebalance the Renin-Angiotensin System, a critical part of the immune system. As a result, it may lower the risk of acute respiratory tract infection and lung thrombosis. Vitamin D’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing effects make it an essential dietary supplement.

Several studies have found that prenatal vitamin D deficiency is associated with preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and gestational diabetes. However, little is known about the effect of low vitamin D on COVID-19.

Reduced risk of preeclampsia

Vitamin D is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to reduced risk of preeclampsia. However, little evidence exists on the role of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy. This systematic review analyzes the available randomized clinical trials. It is the first to evaluate the effect of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy on the risk of preeclampsia.

The study compared two doses of vitamin D during pregnancy. Earlier supplementation, starting at 20 weeks gestation, was associated with a lower incidence of preeclampsia. In contrast, later supplementation, beginning at 32 weeks, did not reduce the incidence of preeclampsia.

A prospective, nested case-control clinical trial was conducted on 274 nulliparous pregnant women. These women were matched to 200 healthy controls. The controls’ 25(OH)D level was measured from stored blood samples.

Among the 274 nulliparous patients, the risk of PE was 5.0 when the 25(OH)D level was less than 37.5 nmol/L. It was 1.3 (95% CI 0.89-1.8) when the 25(OH)D level was between 10 and 19.9 ng/mL.

Prevention of rickets

Rickets is a disease that weakens bones in children. It occurs when there is a vitamin D deficiency or if calcium and phosphorus levels are low. There are two types of rickets: inherited and nutritional.

When infants were born prematurely, they had lower vitamin D levels than term babies.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb vital nutrients from food. It is essential during infancy. Your baby needs a balanced diet that includes essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals during this time.

Infants who are exclusively breastfed are at a lower risk for rickets. Breast milk contains vitamin D. To prevent rickets; your doctor can give your baby vitamin D drops or a supplement. You may also want to use sunscreen to protect your baby’s skin.

High risk of vitamin D deficiency-insufficiency

Vitamin D deficiency-insufficiency during pregnancy affects the mother and the fetus. It is because vitamin D is essential for average bone growth and development. Limited sunlight exposure and dietary intake can also contribute to vitamin D insufficiency.

Pregnant women need to know their vitamin D status as this will help prevent preeclampsia, which is associated with severe maternal vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, low vitamin D status may also lead to dysregulated placental development. During the first trimester of pregnancy, serum 25(OH)D levels are measured.

Several studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency-insufficiency is common in women during early pregnancy. The most prominent factors are limited sun exposure, ethnic minorities, and vegetarians. These risk groups can be identified from a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

Several studies have been conducted in the US to investigate the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and pregnancy outcomes. Vitamin D intake during pregnancy ranges from 200-400 IU/day. However, these recommendations are inadequate to maintain the average level of serum 25(OH)D in pregnant women.

By Grace