Pregnant women with Vitamin D deficiency may have complications in pregnancy that extend to the offspring. Systems involved include bone, immune system as well as general health. What remains unclear is how low is to low and how high is adequate supplementation. Many patients ask what dose of Vitamin D is needed and what dose is excessive?
Extreme and sustained Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets. There were many a story of sailors and pirates of long past and the effects on their bones causing limps and curves. But it turns out, Vitamin D deficiency is common; in fact, it is endemic in major parts of the world. The deficiency may not be severe enough to cause rickets but affords subtle changes – but all compromising general health. Vitamin D regulates bone and calcium metabolism; but also is involved in many cellular functions – including reproduction and pregnancy.
There are approximately 30 studies associating higher rates of Vitamin D with gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and babies that are small for gestational age. What they may all have in common is impairment of placental function, and inflammation.
Currently, CDC guidelines recommend roughly 400 IU to 800 IU daily. But, this level may be too low. Approximately, 1000 IU of Vitamin D will raise blood Vitamin D levels by 10 points. Those demonstrating Vitamin D deficiencies are often supplemented with up to 50,000 IU/ week for an 8 week period and then afforded a maintenance dose. It is important to complement the Vitamin D with calcium supplementation equally to maximize benefit.
If you have questions about Vitamin D and how it may be affecting you, we can help. Contact us!
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