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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


How Does Pregnancy Impact Vitamin D?

By Eric Ciappio

We all know that in addition to finding it in your diet, vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from sun exposure. This interesting fact makes vitamin D is a tricky nutrient to study, since the concentration of vitamin D status in the body fluctuates as the seasons change. But do other factors impact vitamin D status?

Pregnancy is a strenuous time on the body that impacts nearly every aspect of health, and because of this, Moon and colleagues sought to track vitamin D status throughout pregnancy to determine whether pregnancy itself can actually impact status. To do this, these investigators tracked the vitamin D status of over 1700 women during early and late pregnancy in a prospective cohort analysis. And to cut to the punchline, it turns out that serum vitamin D status tracks moderately well between early and late pregnancy (r=0.53, p<0.0001). What seemed to influence vitamin D status more than any other factor – including pregnancy duration or weight gain was the use of vitamin D supplements. Discontinuing vitamin D supplementation was linked to a 7.3 nmol/L reduction in vitamin D status during pregnancy, whereas starting vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with a 12.6 nmol/L increase in status during pregnancy.

Maintaining adequate vitamin D status during pregnancy has been linked to the health of both mom and baby. Considering the need for vitamin D in supporting healthy development, and the well-known role of vitamin D for supporting bone health particularly among women, these data simply highlight the impact that adequate vitamin D intake can have. Maintaining healthy vitamin D during pregnancy should be a focus for more women in order to best support both mom and baby.


Main Citation:

Moon RJ, Crozier SR, Dennison EM, et al. Tracking of 25-hydroxyvitamin D status during pregnancy : the importance of vitamin D supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr 2015; epub ahead of print.

Supporting Citation:

Moon RJ, Harvey NC, Cooper C. Endocrinology in pregnancy: influence of maternal vitamin D status on obstetric outcomes and the fetal skeleton. Eur J Endocrinol 2015; 173(2): R69-R83.

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