The vitamin D reduces the risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), according to a study published in the journal Antioxidants, conducted by a team of Italian, Canadian scientists, Hungarian and Spanish led by Dr. Jan Tesarik.
In addition to its effects on calcium metabolism and bone health, vitamin D controls several extra-skeletal processes , including the control of fertilization and embryonic development during the first weeks of pregnancy.
The importance of vitamin D for fertilization and the onset of pregnancy has been known for just a year. “The optimal concentration of vitamin D in the blood,” explains Dr. Tesarik, “should be greater than 30 ng / ml, however, more than half of Spanish women of childbearing age do not reach this level .”
Different studies have shown that the importance of vitamin D extends further, as is its role in the prevention of gestational diabetes, a relatively frequent complication of pregnancy. “It is clear,” says Tesarik, “that in order to achieve pregnancy and avoid its loss due to miscarriage or diseases associated with pregnancy, it is advisable to control the concentration of vitamin D in the blood, and correct low levels, throughout the pregnancy.”
In the work published in Antioxidants, the team led by Tesarik also analyzes all the information on vitamin D in pregnancy published so far and points out the need for further research to clarify the role of vitamin D in different stages of pregnancy and define the guidelines to follow in cases of deficiency.
Until very recently, vitamin D was considered important only for baby’s bone development. However, today we know that it has a relevant role for the onset of pregnancy, its continuation and the prevention of complications associated with pregnancy throughout its development. “It is very important,” concludes Dr. Tesarik, “to assess the concentration of vitamin D in the blood in all women who wish to become pregnant, and to continue monitoring and correcting , where appropriate, these levels during pregnancy to prevent miscarriages and diseases that they can put the life and health of the mother and her future baby at risk ”.