Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy and offspring bone development: the unmet needs of vitamin D era
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- Karras, S.N., Anagnostis, P., Bili, E. et al. Osteoporos Int (2014) 25: 795. doi:10.1007/s00198-013-2468-5
Data from animal and human studies implicate maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy as a significant risk factor for several adverse outcomes affecting maternal, fetal, and child health. The possible associations of maternal vitamin D status and offspring bone development comprise a significant public health issue. Evidence from randomized trials regarding maternal vitamin D supplementation for optimization of offspring bone mass is lacking. In the same field, data from observational studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation is not indicated. Conversely, supplementation studies provided evidence that vitamin D has beneficial effects on neonatal calcium homeostasis. Nevertheless, a series of issues, such as technical difficulties of current vitamin D assays and functional interplay among vitamin D analytes, prohibit arrival at safe conclusions. Future studies would benefit from adoption of a gold standard assay, which would unravel the functions of vitamin D analytes. This narrative review summarizes and discusses data from both observational and supplementation studies regarding maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy and offspring bone development.