Vitamin D Intakes During Pregnancy in the Scottish Borders.
(2016) Vitamin D Intakes During Pregnancy in the Scottish Borders., no. 30.
Background: Pregnant women are one of the most vulnerable groups at risk of micronutrient deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and homeostatic bone regulation, thus deficiency can lead to rickets and osteoporosis. There is a lack of national data regarding the vitamin D status of pregnant women and guidelines outlining vitamin D supplement-use are contrasting. The Healthy Start scheme provides pregnancy vitamins to those entitled. The aim of this study is to determine the Vitamin D, folate and calcium intakes during pregnancy, from dietary sources and supplements, of women residing in the Scottish Borders. Materials and Methods: Sixteen women who had given birth in the past 12 months, or who were pregnant, were recruited mother and baby classes in the Scottish Borders. A Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was used retrospectively to assess dietary and supplement intakes of vitamin D, folate and calcium. One-sample t-test was used to compare mean nutrient intakes to their respective reference nutrient intake (RNI). Independent t-tests and one-way analysis of variance were used to compare vitamin D intake to demographic variables. Results: Mean dietary and supplement intakes of vitamin D differed significantly from the RNI (p<0.001*; p=0.009*). The mean total intake did not significantly differ from the RNI (p=0.193). Dietary folate intake was significantly lower than the RNI (p<0.001*); supplement intakes did not differ significantly from the RNI (p=0.544). Total folate intake was significantly higher than the RNI (p<0.001*). Mean dietary intake of calcium was significantly greater than the RNI (p=0.003*). Vitamin D supplement intake was significantly higher when entitled to Healthy Start (p=0.013*). Total vitamin D intake was significantly higher when consuming vitamin D supplements (p<0.001*). Conclusion: This small sample had low vitamin D and folate dietary intakes, assessed by a FFQ. Vitamin D supplements increased total intake to a level that did not significantly differ from the RNI, emphasising the importance of a daily 10μg vitamin D supplement in pregnancy. Key Words: Vitamin D; Pregnancy; Deficiency; Supplements; Healthy Start