Researchers recommend pregnant women take 4,000 IU vitamin D a day

May 1, 2010

Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy is not only safe for mother and baby, but also can prevent preterm labor/births and infections, according to results of a randomized controlled study to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

In the 1950s and '60s, people were concerned that vitamin D could cause birth defects, according to Carol L. Wagner, MD, lead author of the study and a pediatric researcher at Medical University of South Carolina. It now is known that vitamin D is important for maternal and infant health, including and immune function.

Recent studies have shown that during pregnancy is a serious public health issue.

"Diet doesn't provide enough vitamin D, and we don't go in the sun as much as we need," Dr. Wagner said.

Therefore, she and her colleagues, including Bruce W. Hollis, PhD, who has worked in the field of vitamin D research for the last 30 years, set out to determine the optimal dose of vitamin D supplements for pregnant women without doing harm.

Researchers randomized 494 pregnant women at 12-16 weeks' gestation into three treatment groups. Group one received 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D a day until delivery; group two received 2,000 IU and group three received 4,000 IU. The women were evaluated monthly to ensure safety.

"No adverse events related to vitamin D dosing were found in any of the three arms of the study," Dr. Wagner said.

Investigators also looked at the effects of vitamin D supplementation on complications during pregnancy, including preeclampsia, , infections, and preterm labor and birth.

"The spectacular part of the study was it showed women replete in vitamin D had lower rates of preterm labor and preterm birth, and lower rates of infection," Dr. Wagner said.

The greatest effects were seen among women taking 4,000 IU of per day. Therefore, the researchers recommend this daily regimen for all pregnant women.

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not rated yet May 01, 2010
Everyone better remember that they ALSO recommend pregnant women take IRON even though studies have shown those women who they DO consider to BE 'anemic' / iron deficient do NOT 'catch' gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is VERY WELL KNOWN to lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
In synopsis they seem to be wrong about iron supplementation in pregnancy and so there is a VERY good chance they may be wrong about vitamin D.
Coincidentally they shown those given iron leads to LOW vitamn D.
THAT is a 'coincidence' though.
"The results reveal that the low serum 25-OHD concentration in patients with hemochromatosis is directly related to the extent of iron loading
and it is improved by venesection therapy.
"The prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is reduced in iron deficiency anemia"
1 / 5 (1) May 01, 2010
@ironjustice there is sooo much work done on Vit D3 (not D2) that it is likely that 4000 iu/day is too low considering the blood levels attained by people working in the sun every day w/o sun screen. Our ancestors most likely had even higher blood levels than that.

Iron IS toxic!!!!!!!! Fe(II) Fe(III) couple is nasty
not rated yet May 02, 2010
Quote: considering the blood levels attained by people working in the sun every day w/o sun screen
Answer: In Africa working in the sun all day doesn't raise the vitamin D to those levels of which you speak leading one to the conclusion that the amount of vitamin D which 'they' say is 'required' is in fact .. wrong. That's based on the fact those in Africa are in fact the OLDEST of our species. It didn't seem to kill them. BUT it IS going to kill us ..
not rated yet Jun 21, 2010

Your logic is specious. We have abundant evidence that fair skinned people are vitamin D deficient. In fact, a variety of diseases and maladies as the distance from the Equator increases. The most obvious explanation is less sun exposure, which leads to less vitamin D production. /

Plenty of people, including myself, have been taking vitamin D at many multiples of the 400 IU recommended dose without any ill effects and in many cases clearly documented benefit. In my case, raising the IUs to 8,000 a day sharply reduced my arthritis. The blood tests show everything is normal. T

It is irrelevant how much vitamin D is produced by Africains. Most evolutionary biologies have concluded that skin color is driven not by natural advantage than by sexual selection.

So the production of vitamin D by Africains in the sun is irrelevant.

Indeed, dark skinned people are most likely to be vitamin D deficient.

If you look at Caucasians, their skin can produce up to 10,000 IUs a day

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