Pregnant motherAn existing analysis already seems to advice expecting mothers to consume 4000 IU Vitamin D everyday. Vitamin D can be easily achieved by exposing the body to the sun rays. A latest study embarked by the University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health (ICH) apparently insists on pregnant women from the UK to include vitamin D supplements in their diet.

The experts enlightened that a growing body depicting vitamin D deficiency, probably leads to complications in pregnancy and poor neonatal health. Still the UK continues to remain the only one of 31 European countries that doesn’t set vitamin D recommendation for women of reproductive age. The UK also seems to be unsuccessful in approving a daily supplement to expectant mothers.

Dr Elina Hypponen, co-author, a reader in epidemiology and public health at the ICH, quoted, “The incidence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women in Britain is unacceptably high, especially during winter and spring. This is compounded by a lack of exposure to sunlight and the limitations of an average diet to meet the optimal need. In the most severe cases, maternal vitamin D deficiency can be life threatening to a newborn. We believe that the routine provision of a daily supplement throughout pregnancy would significantly decrease the number of mothers who are clearly vitamin D deficient, reducing related serious risks to their babies. Our take on vitamin D supplementation in the UK has seen many changes over the decades and we can see clearly from past experience that a proactive approach to supplementation has coincided with a much lower incidence of deficiency linked diseases such as infantile hypocalcaemia and rickets.”

The authors scrutinized present day data for the UK. It revealed that while 9.2 percent women are apparently vitamin D deficient, 6.6 percent men also report vitamin D deficiency. The investigators ascertained an elevated risk situation for one in four pregnant mothers who appeared to be vitamin D deficient, means they were below 25nmol/l during winter and spring. Almost 90 per cent having concentrations registered as insufficient depicting below 50nmol/l were revealed.

Dr Hypponen said, “This risk of vitamin D deficiency is largely being overlooked by our health professionals. Under a current government scheme, pregnant women who are on a low income are entitled to receive supplements free of charge, but there is no strong evidence to suggest that this group is at greater risk. What’s needed is a unified approach that will ensure that all expectant mothers, regardless of their economic status, are informed of the benefits of taking a regular supplement throughout pregnancy.”

Historical data has been seemingly pointed at by the investigators as it may support a daily dose of at least 10µg of vitamin D in order to restrict vitamin D deficiency in expecting mothers. The recent study also encompasses evidence potentially recommending wide-ranging benefits for the prevention of deficiency for the health of both mother and child.

The study was published online by the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN).