Washington: A new study has found that using vitamin D supplements during pregnancy are safe and effective for both women and their newborns, even at the highest amount.
Researchers, led by Dr. Bruce Hollis from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, used a randomized controlled trial with healthy expectant mothers to discover how varying dosages of daily supplements could safely sustain a circulating vitamin D level of at least 32 nanograms per milliliter.
“Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy remains controversial largely due to severe misconceptions about the potential harm it may cause to the fetus,” said Hollis.
While the threat of vitamin D during pregnancy has remained little known, it has been established that the vitamin plays a role in homeostasis, the body``s internal regulation, during pregnancy and that a deficiency can effect immune, pancreatic and cardiovascular systems.
Hollis and his team monitored the pregnancies of 350 women, from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, who were all between 12 and 16 weeks into gestation.
The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group received 400 IU of vitamin D per day, the second group received 2,000 IU per day and the third received 4,000 IU daily.
The team found that women who received the highest level of supplementation (4,000 IU per day) were more likely to achieve and sustain the desired level of circulating levels of vitamin D throughout their pregnancy.
Moreover, the researchers found that pregnant women who received lower levels of vitamin D supplementation did not attain the threshold circulating level of the vitamin.
"In our study subjects, a daily dosage of up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D was required to sustain normal metabolism in pregnant women," concluded Hollis.
The study appears in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.