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

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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 60000U (Group B) in the fifth month of gestation or 120000U 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 120000U each in fifth and seventh gestational months was effective in raising 25OHD at delivery. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) 63, 1157-1159; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.27; published online 20 May 2009

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