Research presented at the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies indicates that vitamin D is crucial during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association reports that of the estimated 6 million pregnancies per year in the United States, 875,000 women experience one or more pregnancy-related complications. In addition, they state that 467,201 babies are born prematurely, 307,030 babies are born with low birth weight and 154,051 infants are born with birth defects each year.
In this new study, researchers assessed the relationship between high-dose vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and the risk of developing pregnancy-related complications. The subjects included pregnant women between 12 and 16 weeks gestation. The women were supplemented with vitamin D at a dose of 400 IU, 2,000 IU or 4,000 IU per day until delivery. The subjects were evaluated monthly for treatment safety and were given blood tests to measure vitamin D supplementation effectiveness. The women were also followed to determine the rate of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, infections, preterm labor and preterm birth.
The results showed that serum levels of vitamin D (25(OH)D) were significantly different between the 3 treatment groups. As serum vitamin D levels increased, the risk of infection and preterm labor and birth decreased. The group receiving 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the lowest rate of infection and preterm labor and birth. In fact, compared to the group receiving 400 IU vitamin D per day, the group receiving 4,000 IU per day had a 50 percent reduction in risk of these complications.
The researchers concluded, “Vitamin D sufficiency was strongly associated with decreased risk for preterm labor and birth and infection during pregnancy and comorbities of pregnancy, with the greatest effect with 4,000 IU vitamin D/day regimen. Therefore, to attain a minimal 25(OH)D level of 40 ng/mL, we recommend 4,000 IU/day for all pregnant women.”
Reference: Wagner CL, Johnson D, Hulsey TC, Ebeling M, Shary J, Smith PG, Bivens B, Hollis BW. Vitamin D Supplementation during Pregnancy Part 2 NICHD/CTSA Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT): Outcomes. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies; 2010 May1-4, Vancouver BC. Abstract 1665.
Article obtained from Complementary Prescriptions