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Studies may encourage vitamin D testing in pregnant women

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

While the positive effects of vitamin D have long been documented, medical experts are now emphasizing the importance of the so-called "sunshine" vitamin in pregnant women and infants.

A study from Northern Ireland suggests that the dosage recommendations many doctors agree are sufficient for adults do not provide sufficient blood levels of vitamin D in expectant mothers, Exmax Health reports. While most pregnant women in the U.S. are told to achieve an intake of 5 micrograms per day, doctors in the UK specifically recommend 10 daily micrograms for this group.

The increased recommendation derives from the fact that vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women often leads to preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginitis. Further studies indicated that infants born to vitamin D deficient mothers are often more susceptible to low birth weight, lower respiratory tract infections, asthma, and weak bones.

Mary Messier, a register dietitian with Shasta County Public Health told Redding News, "In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that infants and children receive [10 micrograms] of vitamin D per day." She further warned that breast-feeding provides less than 1 microgram per day.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to measure the amount of the so-called sunshine vitamin in the body.

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