Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be common among pregnant women, and has been found to be associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and other tissue-specific conditions.

In general, normal pregnancy is associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin, and therefore can’t easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells.

However, insulin resistance is much worse in pregnant women with gestational diabetes, a condition that affects 10% of pregnancies.  No one knows why pregnancy is associated with insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes usually, but not always, disappears after the pregnancy is over. 

How Much Is Enough?

Vitamin D recommendations for pregnant women vary vastly depending on which source you read. The vitamin D council recommends 4,000-6,000 international units (IU) per day for pregnant women. The Food and Drug Administration recommends 600 IU per day.

Please consult with your health care provider about taking vitamin D during pregnancy and how much is recommended.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

References:

1. Maghbooli Z, at al. Correlation between vitamin D3 deficiency and insulin resistance in pregnancy. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2008 Jan-Feb;24(1):27-32. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17607661

2. Soheilykhah S, et al. The effect of different doses of vitamin D supplementation on insulin resistance during pregnancy. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2013 Apr;29(4):396-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23350644

 

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