Vitamin D doses for pregnant women 'should be customised'

1 November 2016

Pregnant women taking vitamin D supplements to improve their bone health may benefit from taking personally-tailored doses, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Southampton saw 800 pregnant women randomised to receive a vitamin D supplement or a placebo every day from the 14th week of gestation until the delivery of the baby.

Those receiving the vitamin D supplement were shown to achieve different levels of vitamin D in the blood, even though they received the same dose. Those who delivered in the summer, who gained less weight during pregnancy and who had higher vitamin D levels early in pregnancy tended to maintain higher levels, for example.

Additionally, women who consistently took the supplement were also shown to have higher levels of vitamin D than participants who did not.

Professor Nicholas Harvey of the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton Our study findings suggest that in order to optimise vitamin D concentrations through pregnancy, the supplemental dose given may need to be tailored to a woman's individual circumstances, such as the anticipated season of delivery."

Evidence suggests vitamin D deficiencies during pregnancy can harm maternal health, foetal development and the child's long-term skeletal health, making this a potentially important finding.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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