Study links vitamin D deficiency with higher risk of miscarriage

Women with low vitamin D levels are at significantly increased risk of miscarriage

Scientists say that assessing vitamin D levels and treating deficiency before conception may offer greater benefit compared to only taking vitamin D during the first trimester – but call for more research to confirm this approach.

Led by experts at the University of Birmingham, the research team at Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research evaluated every study into the impact of Vitamin D during pregnancy – finding a significant association between vitamin D levels and the risk of miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage.

The team also looked at whether vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of miscarriage, and if the timing of vitamin D assessment, treatment or dose changes miscarriage risk – publishing their findings in Fertility & Sterility.

Lead author Dr Jennifer Tamblyn, from the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research at the University of Birmingham, commented: “Vitamin D is safe and low cost, so from a public health approach supplements are a great recommendation. Unfortunately, we know that in the UK the uptake of women and pregnant people taking antenatal vitamin supplements remains low at around 20%.”

Considering why vitamin D may be important in pregnancy, it is essential for bone development in the developing baby. The placenta also produces large amounts of the active form of vitamin D and there is research showing an important role for vitamin D in early pregnancy, including regulation of maternal-foetal immune responses and blood vessel development, which are important for a healthy pregnancy.

image credit- shutterstock

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