Vitamin D may prevent infection during pregnancy

June 3, 2009 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Vitamin D may prevent infection during pregnancy

Pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D may be at increased risk for developing bacterial vaginosis, a vaginal infection that may have harmful effects on the pregnancy, according to a report in The Journal of Nutrition.

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance of the bacteria normally found in a woman's vagina, and is most common in women of child-bearing age. When present during pregnancy, this infection is known to increase the chances of premature birth.

In this study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh looked at the link between vitamin D status and bacterial vaginosis in the first trimester of pregnancy in 469 women.

Overall, 41 percent of the women had bacterial vaginosis, and 52 percent had low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Pregnant women with the risky infection had lower levels of vitamin D than their peers who weren't plagued with this infection.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 international units of vitamin D a day in fall and winter, and year round for those over 50 or with darker skin. Supplements are an important source of vitamin D as it's impossible to get the recommended amount from food alone.

For more information about nutrition and pregnancy, check out Leslie Beck's Nutrition Guide for a Healthy Pregnancy (Penguin Group, 2004).

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.