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Originally published March 27 2007

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

by M. T. Whitney

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.

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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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