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Open AccessReview

The Role of Vitamin D in Fertility and during Pregnancy and Lactation: A Review of Clinical Data

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria
2
Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart Center North Rhine-Westfalia, Ruhr University Bochum, Georgstraße 11, D-32545 Bad Oeynhausen, Germany
3
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital of the Saarland, Building 57, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany
4
Institute of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Leibniz University Hannover, Am Kleinen Felde 30, D-30167 Hannover, Germany
5
Department of Biochemistry, Radioimmunology and Experimental Medicine, The Children’s Memorial Health Institute, Aleja Dzieci Polskich 20 Str, 04730 Warsaw, Poland
6
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Zaragoza, Faculty of Medicine, Lozano-Blesa University Hospital, Domingo Miral s/n, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
7
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, First Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA Hospital, 55535 Thessaloniki, Greece
8
Medical Clinic V (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Diabetology), Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Theodor- Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, D-68167 Mannheim, Germany
9
Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria
10
SYNLAB Academy, SYNLAB Holding Deutschland GmbH, P5, 7, D-68161 Mannheim and Augsburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102241
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D and Public Health)
Vitamin D deficiency is common and there exists a huge gap between recommended dietary vitamin D intakes and the poor vitamin D supply in the general population. While vitamin D is important for musculoskeletal health, there are accumulating data suggesting that vitamin D may also be important for fertility, pregnancy outcomes and lactation. Significant changes in vitamin D metabolism during pregnancy such as increased production of the “active vitamin D hormone” calcitriol support the important role of vitamin D in this setting. Observational studies show that vitamin D deficiency is a risk marker for reduced fertility and various adverse pregnancy outcomes and is associated with a low vitamin D content of breast milk. Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) document that physiological vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy is safe and improves vitamin D and calcium status, thereby protecting skeletal health. Although certain RCTs and/or meta-analyses reported some other beneficial effects, it is still not clear whether vitamin D supplementation improves fertility or decreases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, pre-eclampsia and neonatal mortality, or reduces wheeze/asthma in the infants. Nevertheless, vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women is frequently required to achieve a sufficient vitamin D status as recommended by nutritional vitamin D guidelines. In this review, we provide an overview of systematic reviews, meta-analyses and large trials reporting clinical data on the role of vitamin D for fertility, pregnancy and lactation. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; gestational diabetes; pre-eclampsia; breast milk; vitamin D binding protein; DBP; brain; autism; 25-hydroxyvitamin D vitamin D; gestational diabetes; pre-eclampsia; breast milk; vitamin D binding protein; DBP; brain; autism; 25-hydroxyvitamin D
MDPI and ACS Style

Pilz, S.; Zittermann, A.; Obeid, R.; Hahn, A.; Pludowski, P.; Trummer, C.; Lerchbaum, E.; Pérez-López, F.R.; Karras, S.N.; März, W. The Role of Vitamin D in Fertility and during Pregnancy and Lactation: A Review of Clinical Data. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2241.

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