University Melbourne Logo Though adequate vitamin D may be associated with healthy hair follicle growth cycles and other benefits, its insufficiency can lead to the development of some autoimmune lung diseases. Shedding some more light, a recently conducted investigation has indicated that pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

According to an editorial written by Professor Peter Ebeling of the University of Melbourne and Western Health, pregnant women who lack the above stated fat-soluble vitamin are at higher risk of gestational diabetes, putting both mother and baby at danger. Reportedly, gestational diabetes mellitus is increasingly becoming known, influencing up to ten percent of pregnancies.

“Evidence has accumulated linking vitamin D deficiency to adverse outcomes in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, hypertension, higher rates of caesarean section and pre-term delivery,” stated Peter Ebeling.

Considering the present evidence, routine screening for vitamin D deficiency has been suggested during the early pregnancy stages. In order to provide strength to babies’ bones and trim down the incidence or severity of GDM, vitamin D supplementation can be taken to correct the insufficiency early in pregnancy. Besides this, the lack of consistent examining of blood levels during pregnancy points out that only some women are being tested for Vitamin D deficiency.

Experts have also suggested that scheduling of lower-cost, higher-dose vitamin D supplements be altered so that more women could afford them. The research further supports the analysis published in the journal revealing over 40 percent of 147 pregnant women tested at Westmead Hospital were discovered to have inadequate vitamin D levels.

“The 41 per cent prevalence of inadequate 25(OH)D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) levels in women with GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) in our study is unacceptable and identifies vitamin D insufficiency as an issue of public health significance,” commented Westmead endocrinologist Dr Jenny Gunton.

Both researchers recommended that further investigation into the potential risk between vitamin D status and gestational diabetes be conducted.