Tuesday January 16, 2018

Vitamin D supplementation for Pregnant Women should be Tailor-made, suggests Research

The skin naturally produces vitamin D after exposure to sunlight but people also obtain smaller amounts of the vitamin through foods, such as milk fortified with vitamin D

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Pregnant woman. Flickr
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London, October 28, 2016: Pregnant women respond differently to vitamin D supplementation depending on their individual attributes, thus the supplement levels should be tailored according to individual risk factors, suggests a research.

Vitamin D is a hormone that helps the body to absorb calcium. It plays a crucial role in bone and muscle health.

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The skin naturally produces vitamin D after exposure to sunlight but people also obtain smaller amounts of the vitamin through foods, such as milk fortified with vitamin D.

The findings showed that women who delivered in the summer season, who gained less weight during pregnancy and who had higher vitamin D levels early in pregnancy tended to have higher levels of vitamin D in the blood than their counterparts.

On the other hand, vitamin D supplements were found less effective at raising the levels of the vitamin in pregnant women who delivered their babies in the winter season, have low levels of vitamin D early in pregnancy or gain more weight during pregnancy.

Women who consistently took the supplement also had higher levels of vitamin D than participants who did not, the researchers said.

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“Our study findings suggest that in order to optimise vitamin D concentrations through pregnancy, the supplemental dose given may need to be tailored to a woman’s individual circumstances, such as the anticipated season of delivery,” said Nicholas Harvey, Professor at University of Southampton in Britain.

Evidence suggests vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can harm maternal health, foetal development and the child’s long-term skeletal health.

“It is important for pregnant women to have sufficient levels of vitamin D for the health of their baby,” Harvey added.

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For the study, the team recruited and randomised more than 800 pregnant women to take either 1,000 units (25 micrograms) of vitamin D every day or a matched placebo capsule from 14 week’s gestation until delivery of the baby.

Analysis showed that participants who received the vitamin D supplement achieved different levels of vitamin D in the blood, even though they received the same dose.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (IANS)

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Why you should avoid Paracetamol during pregnancy

The study shows, paracetamol could affect your daughters fertility

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Consumption of Paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the fertility of your daughter. Pixabay
Consumption of Paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the fertility of your daughter. Pixabay

Women who consume paracetamol during pregnancy, widely used to reduce a high fever or relieve pain, may increase the risk of damaging the fertility of their daughters, warns a new study.

“This study identifies a potential risk from taking parace0tamol or ibuprofen, although we don’t know exactly what effect it would have on human health nor what dose would be needed to harm fertility,” said Richard Sharpe, professor at the varsity.

Read more: Open defecation affects pregnancy, reveals study

Findings

Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay
Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay
  • Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells.
  • If this effect occurs in the womb, it could mean baby girls exposed to the common drug end up being born with fewer eggs.
  • This would give them fewer years in which they could become pregnant and lead to an early menopause.
  • It may be because both paracetamol and ibuprofen interferes with a hormone called prostaglandin E2, which appears to play a vital part in the development of the foetal reproductive system.

Also read: Pregnancy seems Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

The findings prompts fresh warnings for pregnant women to only take paracetamol when necessary and warrants further research. Pixabay
The findings prompts fresh warnings for pregnant women to only take paracetamol when necessary and warrants further research. Pixabay

Methodology

  • The team tested the effect of paracetamol and ibuprofen on human foetal testes and ovaries over a week. Researchers counted germ cells that turn into sperm and eggs.
  • In the ovary, the number of egg cells fell by up to 40 per cent, while in testes the number of germ cells was reduced by more than a fifth.

While unborn boys could also be affected by the drug. But unlike women, whose egg supply is limited, they keep producing sperm throughout their lives, meaning the danger to their fertility is not as serious, the researchers said.