Why everyone needs it
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that maintains the body’s levels of calcium and regulates the efficiency of calcium absorption. This is essential as low bone mineral density leads a higher risk of fractures and later in life to osteoporosis and hip fracture. .
We in the UK get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight but it is estimated that more than half of the adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D and that 16% have deficient levels during winter and spring.
Of great concern is that new research has shown that women who have low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are more likely to go into labour early and give birth to preterm babies. This particularly affects women of African or Puerto Rican origin and has been discovered by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
Published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology this results current concern that many people are deficient in this essential vitamin, not just pregnant women, and not just in the USA.
Why it is a problem
The researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was most strongly related to preterm births with damage to the placenta caused by inflammation.
“Preterm birth is the most important problem in modern obstetrics,” said senior author Hyagriv N. Simhan, M.D., Medical Director of Obstetrics.”In 2010, over 1 million infants born preterm at less than 37 weeks gestation died worldwide. Preterm infants who survive are at risk of chronic lung disease, deafness, blindness or other visual impairment, and learning and cognitive disability.”
Premature births were cut by 30% after vitamin D levels were increased in pregnancy.
Protecting against premature birth and weak bones
Bioidentical progesterone has been shown to help with conception, healthy pregnancy and reducing premature births, as well as protecting bones against osteoporosis.
Supplementing with bioidentical progesterone will help and to increase vitamin D levels naturally is tricky as there are not many sources. Oily fish, including salmon, mackerel and trout contain the largest amounts of vitamin D3 along with cod liver oil and less in eggs. Natural sunlight gives the most so in winter supplementing will be needed. There are various foods that are reinforced with vitamin D so if fish, or supplements, are not your thing then you could try a daily dose of reinforced yogurt. Ice skating legend Jayne Torvill keeps her levels of vitamin D healthy with Cal-in+ yoghurt which provides 100% of the RDA of vitamin D (Recommended Daily Allowance) along with being rich in calcium for the bones.