vitamin D reduces risk of preterm birth

Preterm births, or births that occur before 37 weeks affect as many as 10% of all pregnancies. They can lead to complications and can be serious. A simple vitamin solution could be game changing.

Several studies have shown that the mother’s vitamin D levels could play an important role in preventing preterm births. A huge study of 1.064 pregnant women found that women with blood levels of 40ng/mL, which is still lower that ideal, had 62% lower risk of a preterm birth than women whose vitamin D levels were 20ng/mL or lower. When women had low levels of vitamin D at the beginning of their pregnancy but brought them up to 40ng/mL by supplementing vitamin D, they had a 60% lower risk of preterm birth (PLoS ONE 2017;12(7): e0180483).

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 54 studies found low levels of vitamin D in the mother is associated with increased risk of preterm birth. It also found increased risk of low birth weight and small size. Children of mothers with low vitamin D also had lower scores in mental and language development (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2020 Jan;74(1):36-53).

A recent review that also found that insufficient maternal vitamin D in early pregnancy is associated with preterm birth has suggested that low vitamin D may lead to dysregulation of immune response pathways that may contribute to preterm births (PLoS ONE 2020;15(1):e0227193).


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