Vitamin D deficiency 'may increase risk of miscarriage'

Women who have experienced a previous pregnancy loss may be at a greater risk of miscarrying again if they do not consume enough vitamin D.

This is according to a new study from the US National Institutes of Health, which has emphasised the importance of maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D prior to conception to ensure successful pregnancies.

For this research, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, blood levels of vitamin D were tested for around 1,200 women before pregnancy and again at the eighth week of pregnancy, in order to identify signs of potential vitamin D deficiencies.

It was shown that women with sufficient preconception vitamin D concentrations were ten percent more likely to become pregnant and 15 percent more likely to carry the child successfully to term, compared to those with insufficient vitamin D levels.

Among women who became pregnant, meanwhile, each increase of ten nanograms per millilitre in preconception vitamin D was associated with a 12 per cent lower risk of pregnancy loss.

Although this study does not necessarily prove a cause-and-effect link between these factors, the findings do align with the conclusions of previous research. In prior studies, women with higher levels of vitamin D before undergoing in vitro fertilisation were shown to have higher pregnancy rates than those with lower levels.

Now that this report has confirmed a similar trend among women attempting to conceive without assisted reproductive technologies, further research may be needed to establish whether providing vitamin D to women at risk for pregnancy loss could increase their chances of a successful live birth.

Dr Sunni Mumford, of the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said: "Our findings suggest that vitamin D may play a protective role in pregnancy."ADNFCR-2094-ID-801846961-ADNFCR