Type 2 Diabetes – Vitamin D and Health in Pregnancy

According to a study completed at Kasturba and GLK Hospitals in New Delhi, India, taking in a sufficient amount of vitamin D during pregnancy is important for both the mother and baby. Their study, published in October 2016 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in India, looked at two hundred women who wore a burka, since a burka blocked off sunlight, keeping the woman's skin from making the essential vitamin D.

Two and a half percent of the women were vitamin D deficient. A number of other conditions were found …

  • 15 of the women had preeclampsia,
  • 5 women or 2.5 percent of the 200 had Gestational diabetes,
  • 1 or 7.5 percent of these women delivered low-birth-weight babies,
  • 4 or 2.0 percent delivered prematurely,
  • 15 or 7.5 percent of the women delivered low birth weight infants,
  • 4 or 33 percent of the women who had babies were slow to adjust to life outside the womb after 5 minutes,
  • 5 or 2.5 percent of the children were admitted to intensive care.

The researchers recommend screening for a vitamin D deficiency in all women who wore a burka.

According to two studies carried out in 2013 at the University of South Carolina, pregnant women need 4,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per day: prenatal vitamins usually contain 400 IU. All women should try to get at least some sunlight on their skin each day. Failing that, dietary sources are available.

Mushrooms exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light react the same way as human skin in the making of vitamin D. Other sources include …

  • fortified orange juice,
  • fortified soy milk, and
  • fortified cereals.

The following fortified cereals have over 2,000 IUs per serving …

  • Quaker Instant Oatmeal,
  • Nutrition for Women,
  • Malto-Meal Corn Flakes,
  • Cocoa Dyno-Bytes, and
  • High Fiber Bran Flakes,
  • Kellogg's All-Bran with Extra Fiber,
  • Kellogg's Fruit Harvest Strawberry-Blueberry,
  • Kellogg's Reduced Sugar Frosted Flakes,
  • General Mills Cheerios, and
  • Berry Burst Frozen Yogurt.

Serving sizes vary from one type of cereal to another. Many other vitamin D-fortified kinds of cereal are available, so make sure you read the labels …

  • one cup of fortified orange juice provides 142 IU.
  • fortified soy, almond, and rice milk each give about 105 IU per 8 ounces glass.
  • one serving, 84 grams, of Portabella mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light and grilled, supplies 493 IU of vitamin D. The same amount of dried shitake mushrooms provides 129 IU. Some mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet before being sold. If they are not, it is a simple matter to leave them out in the sun for a few hours.