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Prenatal nutrition

More than half of women suffer vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, even after taking prenatal vitamins

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 by: M. T. Whitney
Tags: prenatal nutrition, vitamin D deficiency, health news


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More than half of pregnant women today do not have sufficient amounts of vitamin D, even with prenatal vitamin supplements as part of their regimen, a new University of Pittsburgh study shows.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | resources | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• The study found that "more than 80 percent of African-American women and nearly half of white women tested at delivery had levels of vitamin D that were too low," lead author Dr. Lisa Bodnar wrote.

• More than 90 percent of the women in the study used prenatal vitamins, but still did not have enough vitamin D.

• A deficiency in vitamin D for pregnant women directly affects their newborn child: an infant's health before birth comes directly from its mother.

• Vitamin D helps fight against rickets, a disease that softens the bones. The vitamin also helps lessen the risks of type-1 diabetes and schizophrenia, among other diseases.

• Rickets is among the most frequent childhood diseases in many developing countries and has been making a comeback in America among infants. According to Bodnar, "92.4 percent of African-American babies and 66.1 percent of white infants were found to have insufficient vitamin D at birth."

• Overall, vitamin D deficiency is higher among darker-skinned people, such as African-Americans.

Vitamin D can be easily attained from exposure to sunlight and also from eating fatty fish.

• "Our study shows that current vitamin D dietary intake recommendations are not enough to meet the demands of pregnancy," Bodnar wrote. "Improving vitamin D status has tremendous capacity to benefit public health."

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, author of The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

• Doctors and hospitals are failing miserably at educating expectant mothers about the importance of sunlight and vitamin D supplementation.

• Vitamin D helps prevents numerous diseases, including depression, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and many others.

• The daily recommended intake of vitamin D -- 400 IUs -- is insufficient for disease prevention, especially during pregnancy.

• The medical industry does not promote vitamin D because it cannot be patented. People can get it for free from the sun. If vitamin D could be patented and monopolized, it would be heavily promoted as "miracle medicine" for treating numerous health conditions.

Resources you need to know

• Read the full interview on sunlight and vitamin D featuring Dr. Michael Holick: The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

Bottom line

Even with prenatal supplements, most pregnant women are still deficient in vitamin D, which affects the health of the child inside them.

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