Vitamin D in pregnancy - an overview
Syed Javed S. Chisty, Diganta Das
Vitamin D is a pleiotropic secosteroid hormone important for health and disease prevention. The actions of vitamin D are mediated by the vitamin D receptor that binds the active form of vitamin D [1, 25(OH)2D] to induce both transcriptional and non-genomic responses. Vitamin D has well known classical functions in calcium uptake and bone metabolism, but more recent work highlights the importance of the nonclassical actions of vitamin D in a variety of cell types. Vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women is frequent in many populations over the world. Research indicates that adequate vitamin D intake in pregnancy is optimal for maternal, fetal and child health. Adverse health outcomes during pregnancy are preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus and caesarean section. Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy result in low birth weight in infant, neonatal rickets, a risk of neonatal hypocalcaemia, asthma and/or type1 diabetes. Therefore, prevention of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women is essential. This review article highlighted the metabolism of vitamin D, source of vitamin D, role of vitamin D in pregnant women, testing and treatment for vitamin D deficiency.