NHS re-thinks vitamin D and pregnancy

Contrary to official advice, it has been found that the levels of Vitamin D in expectant mothers may not be harmful to the baby’s bone health. Research into children aged 10 shows that there is no link between the mother’s Vitamin levels during pregnancy and their bone health. The current NHS guide advises pregnant and breastfeeding women to take up to 10mg of Vitamin D per day, so that their children would have stronger bones.

A Bristol University Study, entitled “Children of the 90’s”, led by Professor Debbie Lawlor, found that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that expectant mothers should take Vitamin D supplements.

However, an opposing school of though says that those who get little sunlight, or suffer from obesity should be advised to take supplemental Vitamin D. This study was published in the Lancet Medical Journal, and involved 3960 expectant mothers. The Vitamin D levels were monitored during pregnancy and the bone marrow content (BMC) of their children was monitored for 9.9 years after birth.

The effect of exposure to sunlight was also measured, and showed a marked increase in Vitamin D, during summer. There was a marked decrease of Vitamin D in non-white mothers, and also those who smoked. The study, however, found no link between the Vitamin D levels of a mother, and her child’s BMC.

The President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr Tony Falconer, stated that Vitamin D was essential in the regulation of Calcium levels in the body. He inferred that this is the link between Vitamin D and strong bones and teeth.

He therefore concludes that low levels will lead to increased chances of the child contracting rickets, or osteoporosis. He says that women of South Asian, Black African, Black Caribbean or Middle Eastern descent should take vitamin D supplements. He also recommends it for women who are not exposed to sunlight, obese ladies, and those whose diet does not give the daily recommended amount of the vitamin.