How Does Pregnancy Impact Vitamin D?
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.
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.
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.