Improving the health of people in the UK with Vitamin D

Vitamin D in pregnancy

Advice sent out February 2, 2012 from the UK Chief Medical Officer to all Health Professionals reminds them that pregnant women should take a supplement of Vitamin D3 each day ( 10 micrograms = 400 IU )

There are strong arguments why this should be much more, ( maybe 100 micrograms = 4,000 IU ), since higher Vitamin D levels in the blood of the mother will give her an easier pregnancy and a healthier baby and child

You can read the detailed advice from the UK CMO buried deep in this link:

Half the chance of Diabetes in the child:

A study looked at 29,072 women in Norway and examined 109 of them whose child developed Type 1 Diabetes before age 15, and compared them to a control group of 219 others.

They divided the 109 into 4 groups and found that the odds of Type 1 Diabetes in the child were halved – compared to children of the mothers in the group who had the highest Vitamin D levels

You can read this at:

You can see a video about a related study at ( search for: Frank Garland )

Half the chance of language difficulties in the child:

Another recent study has looked at the language development of the child at age 5-10 when compared to the Vitamin D level in the blood of the mother at 18 weeks.

This found that the risk of having a child with language difficulties was nearly doubled in the group with 46 nmol/L or less, compared to the group with Vitamin D levels of more than 70 nmol/L

You can read this study at:

Reduce the chance of wheeze or asthma:

1194 mother-child pairs were studied in USA and it was found that when mothers took more Vitamin D during pregnancy their child was less likely to suffer with Asthma or Wheeze  – when 3 years old.

You can read more about this at:

Is 70 nmol/L enough ?

Professor Bruce Hollis says that pregnant women should have blood levels above 120 nmol/L, since the baby takes nutrients from the mother.

You can watch him speak about this at: ( select May 17 – Obstetrics )

Professor Hollis gave 100 micrograms ( 4,000 IU ) of Vitamin D3 each day to a large group of pregnant women and found that it was safe.  It was also effective in reducing complications during pregnancy and the babies were bigger and healthier.

At the same conference, Professor Reinhold Vieth spoke about the trials he had done to test the safety of high doses of Vitamin D.  Both of them support pregnant women taking at least 50 micrograms ( 2,000 IU ) per day and Professor Hollis recommends 100 micrograms ( 4,000 IU ) per day.

Winter holiday in the sun !

Dr David Grimes, in his book: Vitamin D and Cholesterol – the importance of the sun suggests that the mother and the father go for a holiday in the sunshine before even trying to conceive.  His advice is to go away for a winter holiday in the sun and try for a baby in the spring, with the birth in the late autumn.  During the summer the mother should take in all the sunshine that she can, without burning.

You can get the equivalent of 20,000 IU of Vitamin D from a little sun-bathing, provided that your shadow is shorter than your height.  This rules out October to March in the UK, when no Ultra-Violet B ( UVB ) rays will reach your body, so you will have to go nearer the equator !

Reduce other complications in pregnancy

If a woman starts pregnancy with a lack of Vitamin D and continues to be deficient throughout pregnancy she is at an increased risk of complications.  A lack of Vitamin D has been linked to an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, insulin resistance, gestational diabetes mellitus and of needing emergency C-section. She is also more likely to suffer from anaemia and bacterial vaginosis, which is associated with pre-term delivery and miscarriage, and also post-natal depression.

You can read more about this at:

Scientists call for 100-150 nmol/L

A group of 40 eminent scientists have called for everyone to have a Vitamin D blood level of 100-150 nmol/L.

You can read their Call-To-Action at:

Watch videos of scientific conferences

You can watch videos of a conference organised by the Vitamin D Association and held at the Wellcome Trust in London in May 2011: ( select May 17 – Vitamin D & Obstetrics )

There are also good videos about Vitamin D for mothers and babies at: ( Search for talks by Carol Wagner or Bruce Garland )


Related articles


Vitamin D UK is about improving the health of people in the UK with Vitamin D




Health problems

People and low vitamin D