Vitamin D During Pregnancy Reduces Pre-Eclampsia

pregnant-ladySeveral studies in different parts of the world have shown that there is a benefit to a baby when the mother takes Vitamin D in excess of the amount in prenatal vitamins.  This shows that there is a benefit to pregnant mothers in reducing the complications of pregnancy.  While the study only looked at a fairly low dose of Vitamin D, probably from cod liver oil and diet, it indicates that supplementation reduced pre-eclampsia by 25%.   Based upon Finish  studies,  I wonder how much less pre-eclampsia would be found if blood levels were raised to 50.   

Vitamin D may reduce pre-eclampsia risk: Study

By Stephen Daniells, 20-Aug-2009

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Vitamins & premixes, Maternal & infant health

Increased intakes of vitamin D during pregnancy may reduce the development by about 25 per cent, suggests a study with over 20,000 Norwegian women.

The risk of pre-eclampsia was 27 per cent lower in women who consumed vitamin D supplements with daily doses of 10 to 15 micrograms, compared to women who did not take supplements, according to researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

However, a correlation between vitamin D intake and omega-3 fatty acid intake was observed, and the researchers noted that “further research is needed to disentangle the separate effects of these nutrients”.

Pre-eclampsia, affecting two to three per cent of all pregnancies, occurs when a mother’s blood pressure rises to the hypertensive range, and excretion of protein in the urine becomes too high. It is estimated to be responsible for about 60,000 deaths worldwide.

It is not known why some expectant mothers develop pre-eclampsia, although oxidative stress has been proposed to play a part. The role of antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress had been supported by a small clinical trial that linked vitamin C and E intake to fewer biomarkers for pre-eclampsia for predominantly low-risk participants.

However, subsequent studies, including a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (Vol. 354, pp. 1796-1806) and a Cochrane Systematic Review (2007, Issue 4), found that vitamins C and E had no effects on the risk of pre-eclampsia.

The new study, published in Epidemiology suggests that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of developing the potentially fatal condition.

Led by Helle Margrete Meltzer, the researchers examined the relationship between vitamin D intakes during pregnancy and the risk of pre-eclampsia in 23,423 would-be first time mothers participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.

The women answered a general health questionnaire at the fifteenth week of pregnancy and again at the thirtieth week, while a food frequency questionnaire was administered at week 22.

According to the Norwegian findings, women with a daily intake of between 15 and 20 micrograms of vitamin D from diet and supplements had a 24 per cent lower risk of developing pre-eclampsia compared to women who consumed less than 5 micrograms per day.

The overriding benefits were observed for vitamin D from supplements, with a daily dose of 10 to 15 micrograms linked to a 27 per cent reduction, compared to women who did not take supplements.

“These findings are consistent with other reports of a protective effect of vitamin D on pre-eclampsia development,” wrote Meltzer and her co-workers.

“However, because vitamin D intake is highly correlated with the intake of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the Norwegian diet, further research is needed to disentangle the separate effects of these nutrients,” they concluded.

Source: Epidemiology
September 2009, Volume 20, Issue 5, Pages 720-726, doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181a70f08
“Vitamin D Supplementation and Reduced Risk of Preeclampsia in Nulliparous Women”
Authors: M. Haugen, A.L. Brantsaeter, L. Trogstad, J. Alexander, C. Roth, P. Magnus, H.M. Meltzer

See Related Posts:

Vitamin D Regulates the Immune System

Nursing Mothers, Infants and Vitamin D

How to Get Vitamin D from the Sun

And More On Vitamin D

Vitamin D Prevents Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes, MS, Heart Attack and Pain

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8 thoughts on “Vitamin D During Pregnancy Reduces Pre-Eclampsia”

  1. Low vitamin D is also a significant risk factor for primary cesarean section delivery. It has been suggested that pregnant and nursing women require 4000-6000 IU/day of vitamin D,5 which is higher than 2000-4000 IU/day now considered required for the general population based on emerging scientific findings.

    1. As long as your blood levels are under 200ng/ml, which is very hard to do, you will be fine. People with sarcoidosis or hyperparathyroidism can’t take it, but you would know if you had that. The one toxicity case I have seen in the literature involved a Florida doctor who had been inadvertently given undiluted D and was taking 1 million iu/day. A month of sunscreen, no D3 and a diuretic, and he was fine with no permanent damage.

  2. Vitamin B12 has been proven to reduce the risk of both heart attacks and stroke. There are many reasons besides this, though, why B12 is such an important vitamin to include in your daily diet regimen to help maintain overall good health, vitamin plays an important rols in our daily life.

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