Vitamin D status and requirements during pregnancy and lactation

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Zhang, Yue
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University College Cork
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Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, lactation, and early infancy has been widely reported. Current understanding of vitamin D metabolism during pregnancy and lactation is incomplete, and to date, experimental data to support vitamin D requirements for these life stages are scarce. There is a shortage of nationally representative data and appropriate reference ranges for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) during pregnancy, lactation and infancy, including in umbilical cord blood. This thesis described concentrations of total 25OHD and individual metabolites including 25OHD3, 25OHD2, and 3-epi-25OHD3 at 15 weeks’ gestation in a large seasonally balanced pregnancy cohort study (n 1768), carried out in Cork, Ireland (52oN). The prevalence of low 25OHD concentrations in pregnant women was higher than published reports in other Caucasian women, and was highest among non-users of vitamin D-containing supplements during winter. A longitudinal pregnancy study was included which suggested gestational stages had an impact on the total serum 25OHD concentration. This thesis incorporated a randomized controlled trial carried out among 100 women across 3 intervention groups using 20 μg/day of vitamin D3 with or without 500 mg calcium, or placebo, over 12-weeks of lactation to investigate the vitamin D requirement for lactating mothers and the vitamin D content of human milk. A daily intake of 25 μg/day was suggested to meet the requirement of lactating women to maintain a 25OHD levels above 50 nmol/L in 97.5% of the population at 52oN all year around. However, vitamin D content in human milk did not increase in response to supplementation. Serum 25OHD concentration has been used as a predictor of a number of health outcomes. This thesis reported large differences in serum 25OHD concentrations using different methods in 86 umbilical cord samples. The need for international standardization of serum 25OHD measurements was re-emphasized in this thesis.
Vitamin D , 25-hydroxyvitamin D , c-3 epimer , Pregnancy , Breastfeeding , Cord , SCOPE , LCMS
Zhang, Y. 2013. Vitamin D status and requirements during pregnancy and lactation. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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