Vitamin D in the perinatal period: an update

Margherita Fanos, Francesco Vierucci, Giuseppe Saggese

Abstract


Vitamin D is a pleiotropic hormone modulating calcium and phosphorous metabolism. Numerous extraskeletal functions of vitamin D have been shown in recent years and the role of an adequate vitamin D status during pregnancy in terms of benefits for mother and child has been investigated. Presumed effects on pregnancy course include reduction in risk of pre-eclampsia, caesarian and preterm delivery and gestational diabetes mellitus. Short term outcomes in the offspring such as skeletal development, birthweight, and incidence of infections have also been postulated. Finally, long term effects of maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy on infant and child health would include bone health, neurodevelopment and incidence of asthma, infections and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes mellitus. As vitamin D deficiency is widespread among pregnant women all over the world, supplementation during pregnancy is a hot topic in literature, also in the light of these recent acquisitions. This review will summarize the most recent advances in this field.


Keywords


vitamin D; pregnancy; newborn; infant; child; supplementation

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