Posted on March 18th, 2011 by admin | No Comments »
Are you pregnant? Double-check your vitamin D status! A new study has found that women with a severe form of preeclampsia or pregnancy-related high blood pressure tend to have lower vitamin D levels.
The study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology says that vitamin D levels were generally low among 50 women with early severe preeclampsia. The average vitamin D level in the group was a dismal 18 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml).
“If vitamin D is involved in preeclampsia risk … then it might help explain why African American women are at greater risk of the complication than other racial groups … Vitamin D is naturally synthesized in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. This process is less efficient in people with darker skin.” (Source: http://www.reuters.com)
Natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola says that the ideal vitamin D level for pregnant women is 50-70 ng/ml. This can help you protect yourself and your baby from “some of the most serious complications of pregnancy, such as premature delivery and preeclampsia.”
Preeclampsia is a potentially fatal spike in blood pressure and fluid during pregnancy. This and related disorders are estimated to cause 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths annually. “Early-onset severe preeclampsia is especially dangerous as it occurs before the 34th week of pregnancy. Because the only ‘cure’ for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, it is responsible for 15 percent of preterm births in the United States,” reveals Dr. Mercola.
Dr. Mercola mourns that while vitamin D can potentially prevent this disease, most obstetricians will NOT automatically check vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D deficiency afflicts 85 percent of the US population, including pregnant women. According to a study of US researchers Drs. Hollis and Wagner, over 87 percent of all newborns and over 67 percent of all mothers had vitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/ml — a severe deficiency state.
Optimize your vitamin D levels all year round. Vitamin D supplementation can help you do this, especially with little or no sunlight exposure during the cold months or lack of outdoor time.
Before and during vitamin D supplementation, get your vitamin D levels tested with the25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Dr. Mercola recommends age-appropriate vitamin D doses, including 5,000 units per day for adults and pregnant women.