Vitamin D supplements needed in pregnancy

Research showing the dangers of low vitamin D in pregnancy has prompted calls for NICE antenatal guidelines to be reviewed.

Vitamin D in pregnancy
Vitamin D in pregnancy

NICE says there is insufficient evidence to warrant vitamin D supplements in pregnancy, but experts say they are necessary for many women in the UK.

Belgian researchers speaking at a meeting of the British Endocrine Societies in Birmingham suggested that low vitamin D in pregnancy could cause type-1 diabetes in the child.

Their research in mice has shown that giving vitamin D to mice predisposed to developing the autoimmune condition can prevent type-1 diabetes.

Dr Maggie Blott, a consultant obstetrician and spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: 'What we're concerned about is that, if mothers have low vitamin D in pregnancy, the babies will also have low vitamin D.'

Low vitamin D in pregnancy can also lead to rickets and hypocalcaemia in a child, she said.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com  

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