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J Midwifery Womens Health. 2010 Nov-Dec;55(6):550-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2010.02.016.

Relationship between vitamin D during perinatal development and health.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Vitamin D deficiency is a highly prevalent condition that is present in 40% to 80% of pregnant women. There is emerging evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk modifying factor for many chronic diseases, including osteomalacia, rickets, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, and cancer. Heightened susceptibility to these diseases may originate in early life during the development of tissue structure and function. It is suspected that biologic mechanisms can "memorize" the metabolic effects of early nutritional environment through fetal and neonatal imprinting. Inadequate vitamin D nutrition during perinatal life may establish a poor foundation that may produce long-term threats to human health. This review summarizes the risks of vitamin D deficiency for human health and provides the current vitamin D recommendations for mothers and their newborns.

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