Pregnant Mothers and Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is perhaps the most important supplement we should all, and I mean ALL, be taking.  Of hundreds of children I have tested in the past few years only one had a normal level.  Most children have levels in the teen or single digits. Normal is considered 30 – 100, and optimal in my mind is 50 – 75.  This study show that there are negative effects to the unborn child of having low Vit D while you are pregnant.  I know of an ongoing study at the present time that is looking at supplementing pregnant moms with 5000 IU a day and looking at the protective effect it may have on reducing autism rates. I would not exceed 5000 IU a day if pregnant, and my personal experience is that adults should not exceed 10,000 IU daily.  If you have been taking over 5000 IU daily for over a year, consider getting your Vit D level checked.  

Children from birth to 40 lbs can take 1000 IU daily.  Over 40 lbs take 2000 IU daily and as you approach tgeenage years and adult size, 3 – 5000 IU a day.

You cannot get enough vitamin D from your diet, and to get enough sunlight would put you at such an increased cancer risk, that you simply must take Vit D as a supplement.

Here is a great study that links vitamin D in moms to birth weight in newborns:

Mother’s vitamin D level linked to birth weight

Study finds mothers with vitamin D deficiency have babies with lower birth weight

Chevy Chase, MD –– Mothers’ vitamin D levels at a gestation of 26 weeks or less were positively related to birth weight and head circumference, and, in the first trimester were negatively associated with risk of a baby being born small for gestational age, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

The major source of vitamin D for children and adults is exposure to natural sunlight. Very few foods naturally contain or are fortified with vitamin D. Thus, the major cause of vitamin D deficiency is inadequate exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency can result in abnormalities in calcium, phosphorus, and bone metabolism, and there has been recent interest in understanding the role of vitamin D in other health conditions. Previous studies have shown inconsistent associations between maternal vitamin D status and fetal size.

“We found that a mother’s vitamin D level, in the first or second trimester of pregnancy, was related to the normal growth of babies who delivered at term,” said Alison Gernand, PhD, MPH, RD of the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the study. “If a mother was vitamin D deficient, the birth weight of her baby was 46 g lower after accounting for other characteristics of the mom. Also if moms were vitamin D deficient in the first trimester, they had twice the risk of delivering a baby that suffered from growth restriction during the pregnancy.”

In this study, researchers examined 2146 women delivering term, live births with vitamin D levels measured at a gestation of 26 weeks or less. Birth weight was measured just after birth and infant head circumference and placental weight were measured within 24 hours of birth.

“Our study is an important contribution to the epidemiologic evidence that maternal vitamin D status, especially in early pregnancy, may contribute to both pathological and physiological fetal growth,” noted Lisa Bodnar, PhD, MPH, RD, of the University of Pittsburgh and senior author of the study. “Randomized trials that supplement pregnant women with vitamin D are needed to test this finding.”

Other researchers working on the study include: Hyagriv Simhan of the University of Pittsburgh and Mark Klebanoff of the Ohio State University.

The article, “Maternal Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Measures of Newborn and Placental Weight in a U.S. Multicenter Cohort Study,” appears in the January 2013 issue of JCEM.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 15,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at .

Public release date: 10-Dec-2012
Contact: Aaron Lohr
The Endocrine Society 

Dr. Paul


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