Researchers in the United States say women who have a vitamin D deficiency early in their pregnancy are at risk from pre-eclampsia. Pregnant women who have pre-eclampsia, which is also known as toxemia, suffer from raised blood pressure as well as swelling of the hands and feet and it is the most common cause of premature birth, and is a factor in 76,000 deaths each year worldwide. In the study, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, data and blood samples were evaluated from 1,198 women and newborns from 1997 and 2001 at Magee-Womens Hospital. Blood samples were collected from the pregnant women prior to 22 weeks pregnancy and again just before delivery and newborn umbilical cord blood also was tested for 25 hydroxyvitamin D, an indicator of vitamin D levels in the babies. The researchers found that the risk of pre-eclampsia could be five times as high as that for those who were not deficient of vitamin D during pregnancy and even a small decline in vitamin D concentration more than doubled the risk of pre-eclampsia. The researchers were concerned that many of the women had apparently been taking prenatal vitamins, which typically contain 200 to 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D.
Bonnie - most of the prenatals I see are woefully deficient not just in vitamin D, but other vitamins and minerals as well. In addition, many of the prenatals that doctors recommend by prescription contain vitamin D2, the synthetic source of vitamin D. It is imperative that the source be D3, which is much more bioavailable. Magnesium is also a crucial nutrient for pre-eclampsia, which is also usually minimal in most prenatals.