Vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of pregnancy loss in women who have previously suffered a miscarriage, new research suggests.
Such women are 10 percent more likely to conceive if their vitamin D levels are sufficient, a study found today.
They are also 15 percent more likely to have a live birth, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Sunni Mumford, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Maryland, said: ‘Our findings suggest that vitamin D may play a protective role in pregnancy.’
Previous research suggests vitamin D is involved in placenta development and embryo production.
Up to 20 percent of pregnancies in the US end in miscarriages, which are defined as the loss of a foetus before 20 weeks.
Vitamin D reduces the risk of pregnancy loss in women who have miscarried before (stock)
DOES VITAMIN D REDUCE THE RISK OF AN EARLY MENOPAUSE?
Women can cut their risk of an early menopause by eating oily fish and eggs, research suggested in May 2017.
A high vitamin D intake via food and supplements lowers the risk by 17 percent, a study found.
Vitamin D is thought to slow the ageing of women’s ovaries.
Calcium-rich foods make women 13 percent less likely to suffer, the research adds.
Around one in 10 women go through the menopause before the age of 45, increasing their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, and reducing their chances of conceiving.
The researchers analysed 116,430 female health workers over two decades.
Their diet was recorded in food questionnaires five times over that period, during which 2,041 women entered the menopause.
Lead author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, from the University of Massachusetts, said: ‘Scientists are looking for anything that can reduce the risk of early menopause and things like diet, which can be easily altered, have wide-ranging implications for women.’
The main natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, however, it also appears in oily fish, egg yolks and fortified cereals.
Dairy products are not fortified with the vitamin in the UK.
For every 10ng/ml increase, miscarriage risk goes down 12%
Results further suggest that for every 10ng/ml increase in vitamin D levels before becoming pregnant, women are 12 percent less likely to miscarry.
Vitamin D levels eight weeks in to women’s gestation periods are not associated with pregnancy loss.
The researchers believe further studies are required to determine whether providing women who are at risk of miscarrying with vitamin D increases their chances of conceiving or having a live birth.
How the research was carried out
The researchers analysed around 1,200 pregnant women who had previously suffered a miscarriage.
Blood samples were taken to determine the women’s vitamin D levels before they became pregnant and eight weeks into their gestation periods.
Insufficient vitamin D levels were defined as less than 30ng/ml.
The findings were published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Wi-fi increases pregnant women’s risk of miscarriages by nearly 50%
This comes after research released last December suggested Wi-fi and mobile phones increase pregnant women’s risk of suffering miscarriages by nearly 50 percent.
Magnetic field (MF) non-ionising radiation, which is also given off by power lines and cell towers, has been found in past studies to put a stress on the body, leading to genetic damage that can cause pregnant women to miscarry.
Those exposed to the highest levels of MF radiation are 48 percent more likely to lose their baby than women exposed to the lowest amounts, a study by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, found.
MF radiation, which everyone is exposed to at some extent, has previously been linked to cancer and has been recommended by the World Health Organization to be studied for its effect on pregnancies.