Your vitamin D level during pregnancy may be crucial in determining your health later in life.
The active form of vitamin D increases during pregnancy considerably, specifically during the second and third trimesters. During this period, your baby’s bones, brain, nervous system, and other organs are developing.
A review published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, looked at research on vitamin D and maternal, fetal, and infant health. The review indicates that vitamin D contributes to improving pregnancy results, including lowering the risk of preeclampsia, improving the length of gestation, birth weight, and infant bone mineralization. It also appears that getting enough vitamin D early in life may reduce the risk of health problems later on, including schizophrenia, brain tumors, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes.
This does not mean though, that you should significantly up your vitamin D intake. More research is needed to determine the health benefits of vitamin D. Also, the article warns about the potential adverse effects of having too much vitamin D in the cardiovascular system, and allergies.
There is still a lot to be discovered, but below are some safe guidelines that you can follow:
- Take a prenatal vitamin. If you can’t tolerate it, take a regular multivitamin, but make sure it contains 200 IU of vitamin D [USRDA].
- The current tolerable upper limit is 2000 IU. The Canadian Pediatric Society suggests that this level may be suitable for winter pregnancies.
If you have kids/ infants:
- Breast fed infants need a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU daily, says a 2008 report of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
- Formula fed babies need a vitamin D supplement – 400 IU – until they are drinking at least a litter of formula daily.
- Kids who drink less that a quart of vitamin D-fortified milk daily need a vitamin D supplement, 400IU daily.
- Kids and infants are at greater risk of toxicity. Be careful with the dosage and how you administer it.