Pharmacist Hootan Melamed on Vitamin D and Pregnancy
Dr. Hootan Melamed is a renowned pharmacist entrepreneur as well as educationist and consultant in the field of compounding pharmacy. Dr. Melamed is on the boards of leading pharmacy universities, heads innovative research organizations, and is constantly engaged in the development of cutting edge solutions for a variety of health conditions that may not be addressed adequately with mainstream commercial treatments.
He supports the use of higher dosages of vitamin D as a health supplement for pregnant women.
Vitamin D Dosage for Pregnant Women
The current standard recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for pregnant women is 600 IU/day. But a number of studies have been conducted to show that this recommendation may not be accurate, and pregnant women may benefit more from a significantly higher dosage of vitamin D. Some of the key benefits of a higher dosage would be as follows:
Chances of getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy are reduced.
Preeclampsia risk is reduced.
Premature deliver risk is reduced.
The chances of the child suffering from rickets or other immune system disorders are cut down.
The chances of toddlers developing wheezing at a later stage are reduced.
Lumbar spine and bone mineral content in older children is increased.
Study of Diabetes and Preeclampsia Risk
A study conducted in Charleston, SC, covering about 500 pregnant women, involved administering of specific doses of vitamin D to different sub-groups, ranging from 400 IU to 4,000 IU/day. Vitamin D deficiency was noted in over 50% women at the start of the study.
By the time the study was concluded, the researchers found that the participants who had taken a high vitamin D daily dose of 4,000 IU had a 50% reduced risk of developing diabetes or preeclampsia. These women were also less likely to have premature babies as compared to women who took only 400 IU/day of vitamin D.
Study of Wheezing in Children
A major study involving 1,194 mother-child pairs was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Results of the study revealed that mothers with the poorest daily intake of vitamin D of 356 IU/day on average had children with the highest risk of wheezing (a predictor of asthma). On the other hand, women with the highest daily intake levels of vitamin D of 724 IU/day on average had children who faced the lowest risk of developing wheezing.
Mineral Content Study
A third study involving 198 children born in 1991 or 1992 found that children who born to mothers having extremely low vitamin D levels in their body (less than 11 ug/L) had conspicuously lower whole body and lumbar spine mineral content by the time they entered their ninth year.
On the other hand, children of mothers with a reasonably high level of vitamin D in their body at higher than 20 ug/L had adequate bone mineral content during the same period. Researchers suggest that a sufficiently high vitamin D intake of 4,000 IU/day beginning at three months gestation in pregnancy could be the ideal support for the health of the mother and the child.
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