Vitamin D in pregnancy: current perspectives and future directions

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Kiely, Mairead E.
Hemmingway, Andrea
O'Callaghan, Karen M.
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As neonatal vitamin D status is determined by circulating maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations, prevention of maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is essential for the avoidance of neonatal deficiency. However, a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has been extensively reported among gravidae and neonates from ethnic minorities and white populations resident at high latitude. Currently, regulatory authorities recommend vitamin D intakes for pregnant women that are similar to non-pregnant adults of the same age, at 10–15 µg/day (400–600 IU), to meet 25(OH)D thresholds of 25–50 nmol/liter. The lack of pregnancy-specific dietary recommendations is due to inadequate data indicating whether nutritional requirements for vitamin D during pregnancy differ from the non-pregnant state. In addition, there are few dose–response studies to determine the maternal 25(OH)D response to vitamin D intake throughout pregnancy at high latitude. These data are also required to determine vitamin D requirements during pregnancy for prevention of neonatal deficiency, an outcome which is likely to require a higher maternal 25(OH)D concentration than prevention of maternal deficiency only. With regard to the impact of vitamin D on perinatal health outcomes, which could guide pregnancy-specific 25(OH)D thresholds, dietary intervention studies to date have been inconsistent and recent systematic reviews have highlighted issues of low quality and a high risk of bias as drawbacks in the trial evidence to date. Many observational studies have been hampered by a reliance on retrospective data, unclear reporting, suboptimal clinical phenotyping and incomplete subject characterization. Current investigations of vitamin D metabolism during pregnancy have potentially exciting implications for clinical research. This paper provides an update of current dietary recommendations for vitamin D in pregnant women and a synopsis of the evidence relating vitamin D status with maternal and infant health.
Vitamin D and pregnant women , Vitamin D requirements , Neonatal vitamin D status
Kiely, M., Hemmingway, A. and O'Callaghan, K. M. (2017) 'Vitamin D in pregnancy: current perspectives and future directions', Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, 9(6), pp. 145-154. doi: 10.1177/1759720x17706453
© 2017, the Authors. Published by SAGE publications. All rights reserved.