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Vitamin D and Pregnancy: Skeletal Effects, Nonskeletal Effects, and Birth Outcomes

Abstract

The function and requirement of vitamin D during pregnancy for both mother and fetus have remained a mystery. This fact was highlighted by The Cochrane Review in 2000, which reported a lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with respect to vitamin D requirements during pregnancy. Unfortunately, during the past decade only a single RCT has been performed with respect to vitamin D requirements during pregnancy. In this review we will discuss vitamin D metabolism during pregnancy as well as the consequences of vitamin D deficiency on skeletal, nonskeletal, and birth outcomes using birth observational data and data from our recent RCT. New RCT data strongly support previous observational studies in that improving nutritional vitamin D status will improve birth outcomes. The new RCT data indicate that 4,000 IU/day vitamin D3 during pregnancy will “normalize” vitamin D metabolism and improve birth outcomes including primary cesarean section and comorbidities of pregnancy with no risk of side effects.

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Correspondence to Bruce W. Hollis.

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B. W. H. is an academic consultant to Diasorin. The authors have stated that they have no other conflict of interest.

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Hollis, B.W., Wagner, C.L. Vitamin D and Pregnancy: Skeletal Effects, Nonskeletal Effects, and Birth Outcomes. Calcif Tissue Int 92, 128–139 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00223-012-9607-4

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Keywords

  • Vitamin D
  • Bone
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth outcome
  • Infant
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D