Prior to 2018, two prospective studies had investigated a weak association between lower vitamin D concentration and pregnancy loss. This 2018 study found a fourfold risk of pregnancy loss with low vitamin D status.
In fact, every one-degree of vitamin D deficiency was found to be associated with a 1% increase in risk of miscarriage.
That’s insane right?
How does vitamin D help?
Miscarriage often results from inadequate development of the growing placenta, a process that requires vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for angiogenesis, the formation of arteries. Learn about the other common causes of miscarriage.
Vitamin D also prevents preeclampsia later on in pregnancy; a condition causing elevated blood pressure and damage to organ systems like the liver and kidneys. It has also shown to prevent low birth weight and slow fetal growth.
Levels of vitamin D lower than 30 nmol/L (that’s 45 points lower than the minimum requirement) are associated with a fourfold increase in miscarriage rate.
If you live in Canada you most certainly are vitamin D deficient due to our brutal winters and lack of sunshine #wethenorth
But don’t guess. Get tested. We need to know how far below the threshold you are to predict your associated miscarriage risk.
A level of 100+ nmol/L has NO association with pregnancy loss.
Here’s an example of my lab work:
I have a modestly low vitamin D status (in the peak of summer I may add, so I can only imagine how low it was in the dead of winter.) My levels are 7 degrees lower than the minimum required level, which puts me at a 7% risk of miscarriage and a whole host of other symptoms like fatigue, depression, muscle pain, poor immune response, hair loss etc.
A note on supplementing with vitamin D
The brand matters. I have seen patients religiously take vitamin D purchased outside of a health food store or naturopathic clinic and the blood levels just don’t increase. Other naturopathic doctors will share the same experience. Don’t take any old vitamin D, use a reputable brand from your naturopath. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so it must come in an emulsified form (mixed with oil).
Want to learn more about lab tests for preventing miscarriage? Book an appointment with me.