Scientists from the University of Birmingham and elsewhere found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to a higher risk of miscarriage.
Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone.
Vitamin D can also help reduce cancer cell growth and control infections and reduce inflammation.
Many of the body’s organs and tissues have receptors for vitamin D, which suggest important roles beyond bone health, and scientists are actively investigating other possible functions.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine whether a strong association between vitamin D and the risk of miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage.
They reviewed published studies about the association between maternal vitamin D status and miscarriage and/or vitamin D treatment and miscarriage.
The primary outcome was a miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage, with vitamin D status used as the predictor of risk.
Whether vitamin D treatment reduces the risk of miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage was also assessed.
A total of 10 studies with more than 7600 women were included in the review.
The team found women diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/L) had an increased risk of miscarriage compared with women who were vitamin D replete (>75 nmol/L).
The researchers also found women who were vitamin D insufficient (50-75 nmol/L) and deficient (<50 nmol/L) compared with women who were replete (>75 nmol/L) had higher risks of miscarriage.
Based on the findings, they suggest that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are linked to miscarriage.
Whether preconception treatment of vitamin D deficiency protects against pregnancy loss in women at risk of miscarriage needs further research to test.
The research was published in Fertility and Sterility and conducted by Jennifer A Tamblyn et al.
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