|dc.description.abstract||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
Key Words: Vitamin D; Pregnancy; Deficiency; Supplements; Healthy Start||