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Obesity and vitamin D in pregnancy (Version 1.1)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    The influence of overweight and obesity on vitamin D status during pregnancy



  • Contact name

    Mary McCann

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Ulster

  • Research summary

    Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is a worldwide health problem that is associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Research has shown that the vitamin D status of the offspring is dependent upon maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy. Furthermore, epidemiological studies have shown that low vitamin D status during pregnancy is a strong independent risk factor for pre-eclampsia in the mother and impaired growth and skeletal problems in the offspring in later life. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) emphasises the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and suggests that women may choose to take up to 10µg of vitamin D per day during these critical periods.\nThe obesity epidemic has resulted in changes to many key aspects of the health of women of childbearing age; in particular, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), which is associated with numerous adverse pregnancy outcomes. As vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it may be stored in higher amounts of body fat and it is recognised that obese adults may require 2 to 5 times more vitamin D to treat and prevent deficiency compared to their leaner counterparts. It is therefore reasonable to consider that women of childbearing age are becoming more vitamin D insufficient and deficient due to obesity. Hence, the daily requirements of vitamin D as well as the optimal status for overweight and obese pregnant women need to be defined. \nWe hypothesise that pre-pregnancy body weight has an impact on vitamin D status during pregnancy; those with a higher pre-pregnancy body weight have a poorer vitamin D status. Clarification of this issue could inform nutrition policy through the identification of an adequate/optimal level of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy which is dependent upon pre-pregnancy BMI. \n

  • REC name

    East of England - Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    14 Feb 2014

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion