Vitamin D replacement in pregnant women in rural north India: a pilot study

M Sahu, V Das, A Aggarwal, V Rawat, P Saxena, V Bhatia
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009, 63 (9): 1157-9
Hypovitaminosis D is common in both urban and rural Indians. The dose of vitamin D needed for the treatment of its deficiency during pregnancy is not clear. We conducted a study in rural Indians to evaluate the effect of cholecalciferol supplementation during routine antenatal visits on maternal 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) at delivery. Pregnant women received either no cholecalciferol (Group A) or 60 000 U (Group B) in the fifth month of gestation or 120 000 U each in the fifth and seventh gestational months (Group C). Serum 25OHD was measured at baseline (n=139) and at delivery (n=84). Median (interquartile range) 25OHD at baseline was low: 32.3 nmol/l (22.8-50.1 nmol/l). A significant increase in 25OHD at delivery was obtained only in group C: 40.1 nmol/l (26.9-58.4 nmol/l) at baseline vs 53.4 nmol/l (41.2-88.0 nmol/l) after delivery, P<0.001. Only 20% of participants in Group C achieved 25OHD at delivery >80 nmol/l, not significantly different from Group B. Cholecalciferol in doses of 120 000 U each in fifth and seventh gestational months was effective in raising 25OHD at delivery.

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