Relationship Between Vitamin D During Perinatal Development and Health

Jovana Kaludjerovic, MSc; Reinhold Vieth, PhD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2010;55(6):550-560. 

In This Article


The period from prepregnancy to 24 months of a child's life offers an important developmental window during which vitamin D exposure can have profound effects on human health. Inadequate concentrations of 25(OH)D during perinatal life can adversely affect bone health, brain development, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, and cancer. To achieve optimal health at adulthood, it is imperative that pregnant mothers and their newborn infants receive sufficient amounts of vitamin D during critical developmental windows. The current recommendations for vitamin D supplementation of pregnant and lactating mothers are based on estimated requirements for adults in general, which do not address the needs of the mother and the developing infant. There is an urgent need to determine optimal vitamin D intakes for pregnant and lactating women. It is not practical nor cost-effective to screen all mothers and infants for serum 25(OH)D. Proactive strategies involving appropriate supplementation of mothers and infants are needed.


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