Study questions vitamin D in pregnancy


University of Bristol investigators in western England looked at vitamin D levels throughout the pregnancy of nearly 4 000 British women.

How the study was done

They then measured the bone mineral content of the women's children at the age of nine. They found no association between the mother's vitamin D levels and the health of the children's bones.

Vitamin D plays a big role in healthy bones and teeth as it regulates calcium and phosphate in the body.

Eggs, oily fish and meat are all rich in the vitamin, which is also derived from the action of sunlight on skin.

Its importance is such that doctors in some countries recommend pregnant women take a daily supplement to help their baby get stronger bones.

Health watchdogs gave no advice

But the guidelines vary and some health watchdogs do not give any advice at all, reflecting conflicting opinions that supplements are effective or - if used in higher doses - safe.

The authors say this is the widest and most thorough research into whether maternal vitamin D makes a difference to a child's bone health.

"We believe that there is no strong evidence that pregnant women should receive vitamin D supplementation to prevent low BMC [bone mineral content] in their offspring, although we cannot comment on other possible effects of vitamin D in pregnant women," said researcher Debbie Lawlor.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on its website says that vitamin D supplements are "currently... not recommended" in order to prevent pre-eclampsia, a highly dangerous condition in pregnancy.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Gauteng DA leader Solly Msimanga says the party's voters want it to explore conditional coalition talks with the ANC. 
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It's a step in the right direction. An ANC-DA coalition would be the most stable option for SA
33% - 3029 votes
The DA should focus on working with all opposition parties, including the EFF, to unseat the ANC
15% - 1346 votes
The DA should rather remain in opposition than form a coalition with the ANC or the EFF
53% - 4871 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.