Link between Vitamin D and complications in Pregnancy
The researchers worldwide have found that Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy could reduce the complications during pregnancy. The base for this conclusion was the 31 studies, which were published from 1980 to 2012. The number of participants in these studies ranged from 95 to 1100.
What the researchers found?
Pregnant women taking low levels of Vitamin D are likely to suffer from gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. In addition, protein was found in the urine. Even the baby born weighed less than the normal weight.
These findings were published in BMJ, which pointed out that those women, who are vegetarian, have limited exposure to sun, and women with dark skin are likely to report low levels of Vitamin D.
Our body is able to synthesize Vitamin D only when exposed to sunlight. The food supplements, which could replenish the low levels of Vitamin D, are fish. We also get Vitamin D from milk if it is fortified.
What is the role of Vitamin D?
A steroid vitamin, Vitamin D encourages calcium and phosphorous absorption and metabolism in the body. Those who have enough sun exposure generally do not need to take Vitamin supplements as sunlight aids in its synthesis in the body.
D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 are the five forms of Vitamin D of which D2 and D3 are of main concern for humans. Let us have a look what are the other roles Vitamin D plays in the human body.
- Regulates the immune system
- Boosts the immune system and arms it to fight against common cold, cough etc.
- Reduces the chances of developing multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis (in women), cancer and heart attack.
- Makes brain more efficient
- Help maintain a healthy body weight
- Reduce the frequency of asthma
- Help in quick recovery from tuberculosis
The findings though established a strong association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased chances for complications in pregnancy but still there needs to be further researches to prove that boosting the levels of Vitamin D would help reduces the complications.
However, it strongly recommends that pregnant women should maintain adequate vitamin D levels. If you were vegetarian increase your sun exposure and drink milk fortified with Vitamin D. However, exposing too much to sun would also increase your chances for skin cancer. Therefore, it is important that you dab on a good amount of sunscreen before going out. It is also important that you apply sunscreen 10-20 minutes before going out. This would help it to get absorbed in the skin and start action