Implications of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and lactation
Keywords:vitamin D, pregnancy, child health, review
AbstractVitamin D has been a hot topic in the medical world for the last decade. The classical and non‑classical pathways of this hormone affect calcium metabolism, the immune system, cell proliferation and differentiation, infection. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency among pregnant women is frequent in many populations over the world. Research indicates that the adequate vitamin D level in pregnancy is optimal for maternal, fetal, and child health. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in Ukraine. There are few data from Ukraine about the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in pregnancy and in the newborn. Adverse health outcomes during pregnancy are preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, and caesarean section. Consequences in newborns are low birth weight, neonatal rickets, risk of neonatal hypocalcemia, asthma, and/or type 1 diabetes mellitus. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is the origin of a host of future perils for a child, especially it affects the neurodevelopment and immune system. Some of this damage caused by maternal vitamin D deficiency gets evident after 3–5 years. Therefore, the prevention of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women is essential. The currently recommended supplementation amount of vitamin D is not sufficient to maintain a value of 25(OH)D above 30 ng/ml during pregnancy. Studies are underway to establish the recommended daily doses of vitamin D in pregnant women. Clearly, further investigation is required to study the effects of vitamin D, vitamin D supplementation for improvement in human health generally and mothers and children specifically. This review discusses vitamin D metabolism, dietary requirements and recommendations, and implications of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and lactation.
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