Why Vitamin D Levels are Important Both During Pregnancy and Even Before
It is gradually becoming well known how many health reasons there are for ensuring good levels of vitamin D in our systems but perhaps we are less aware of its importance during pregnancy and even up to conception.
As vitamin D acts as a protector and regulator, it is able to enhance the functioning of our cells, tissues and organs to keep us healthy. Therefore, a deficit in vitamin D can lead to impairment or disease in each of our systems.
In just the same way, Vitamin D is important to the health and function of the reproductive system - both for men and for women.
Why does our reproductive system need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is necessary for all stages of the life cycle with many studies finding that higher vitamin D levels during pregnancy reduce the risk of adverse mother and baby outcomes. It is also likely that vitamin D is involved in the process of conception, implantation and the development of the placenta. According to research, Vitamin D is even linked to infertility.
Even before future parents plan on conceiving a child, ensuring Vitamin D levels are high enough is important as researchers have found that such levels can make a difference to the length of time it takes for conception to take place.
It is not only mothers, fathers need plenty of Vitamin D too!
Research has found that the levels of Vitamin D for male partners is important too when it comes to increasing the chances of conception, a healthy pregnancy and baby. Research also found that there was also more of a likelihood of a high rate of miscarriage in those with lower male Vitamin D levels.
Why is Vitamin D especially important for a healthy pregnancy?
It is important because pregnancy affects every organ system and metabolic pathway in the body. As you can imagine, a lot happens during pregnancy:
· Blood volume increases.
· An entirely new organ is grown (the placenta).
· The breasts are preparing to produce milk.
· A whole new person is growing and relying on mother for nutrition.
· Adjustments in nutrient metabolism are driven by hormonal changes as well as baby's needs.
It is not surprising that alterations in vitamin D metabolism also occur. Vitamin D levels in the range of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) go a long way to add important layers of protection during pregnancy while helping to reduce complications including preterm birth, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (preeclampsia) as well as gestational diabetes.
Ensuring a vitamin D level in the range of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) during pregnancy is an effective way to reduce the risk of many complications for both mom and baby! That same level can also affect the future health of the baby.
Find out all about how to raise your Vitamin D levels here.