How are vitamin D level and conceiving a baby related? Should women take extra vitamin D while trying to conceive?
Two main ways to get vitamin D are by exposing your bare skin to sunlight and by taking vitamin D supplements, or food rich in vitamin D. Just sunshine is often not enough and majority of women will need to take extra vitamin D to come anywhere close to the level which supports their fertility
Vitamin D level during pregnancy is related to neonatal vitamin D level. Recently a study has been conducted on frequency of Vitamin D insufficiency in pregnancy and in newborns. Although normal vitamin D level is still debatable, there seems to be no doubts that 20ng/ml and anything below this level is simply not sufficient to maintain optimal pregnancy. Unfortunately, vast majority of young adult females have vitamin D level in this range, which is not surprising if we take into account that we are not as exposed to sun as our ancestors were, and we don’t eat fish, beef, liver, mushrooms and other food rich in vitamin D level on a regular basis.
A diet deficient in vitamin D in conjunction with inadequate sun exposure causes rickets in children, which is a softening the bones. Aside from prenatal supplementation it is extremely important to give newborns vitamin D, after talk with a pediatrician.
Also, what studies have shown so far is that vitamin D deficiency correlates with several infertility issues in both women and men, such as endometriosis, PCOS, and semen quality. Knowing this the minimum we can do to prepare for pregnancy, or to maintain a healthy pregnancy is eat healthy vitamin D rich food and enjoy sun, because part of vitamin D comes from dermal synthesis.
Before taking any supplements, the easiest would be to do simple blood test analysis and check your vitamin D level. In case that it’s low, what I’d suggest in order to reach and keep 30–50 ng/ml level of vitamin D is to take daily supplements, most probably 4000 IU/day. Even if you need vitamin D supplements make sure you make the best use of vitamin D rich food, as well as sun exposure. Of course if you are unsure about the quantity, timing, or you’re worried about overdose feel free to contact me.
If you wish to read further visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26067469