Lately I have been reading about the benefits of vitamin D from a variety of sources. So now I decided that during the darker months, everyone in my family gets a dose of the “Sunshine Vitamin” as we call it.
A study published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to need a Caesarean. The reason the deficiency causes problems in childbirth is unknown but could be related to the fact that lack of vitamin D is linked to poor abdominal muscle strength, high blood pressure and poor bone development.
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Centre checked the blood levels of vitamin D in pregnant women. Of the 253 women enrolled in the study 28 percent of women with low levels of vitamin D had to have a surgical delivery, compared with 14 percent of women with high levels.
Vitamin D comes from sunlight and is also found in milk (not cheese) and oily fish, such as salmon. It is a frequently recommended supplement.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends a supplement of 1000 IU per day for adults in the fall and winter. The Canadian Pediatric Society also advocates supplements in pregnancy and Vitamin D for babies. The lead author of the study recommends that pregnant women take a supplement of 1000 IU of Vitamin D in addition to the 400 found in a prenatal vitamin.
You may want to discuss this new research with your clients. Note that the study was based on a small sample of 253 women.
Canadians and others from northern countries, where sun levels are low, are thought to be particularly at risk of low Vitamin D levels which in the past have led to the childhood disease of rickets.