Avoidance of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy in the United Kingdom: the case for a unified approach in National policy

Br J Nutr. 2010 Aug;104(3):309-14. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510002436. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Abstract

Prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in Western populations is high; pregnant women are identified as a high-risk group, especially if dark skinned. Consequences of severe clinical vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy can be life threatening to the newborn, while lesser degrees of hypovitaminosis D may have important long-term implications for offspring health. Past experiences with routine provision of 10 microg/d (400 IU/d) to all pregnant mothers suggest that this dose is sufficient to prevent overt neonatal complications of vitamin D deficiency. Recent data suggest that supplementation with dosages above 10 microg/d may be required for optimal health in the mother and child; however, further research is required for the assessment of the benefits and safety of supplementation with higher dosages. Lack of unified advice on vitamin D supplementation of pregnant mothers in the UK hinders the implementation of primary prevention strategies and is likely to leave some deficient mothers without supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / prevention & control*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control*

Substances

  • Vitamin D