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Nutritional requirements for vitamin D during pregnancy have been inadequately described, and there are conflicting data on the impact of gestation on vitamin D status. In the present study, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of total and free (unbound) serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) and albumin concentrations in a random sample of thirty women from the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints Ireland pregnancy cohort study at 15, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36 and 40 weeks of gestation and at 2 months postpartum. Concentrations of serum 25(OH)D, DBP and albumin were determined, and free 25(OH)D was calculated from the concentrations of total 25(OH)D, DBP and albumin. Serum albumin concentration decreased during pregnancy (P< 0·001), with a nadir at 36 weeks (P< 0·005), during which the concentration was approximately 80 % of the postnatal concentration. Serum DBP concentration increased during pregnancy and at 28 weeks of gestation, which was almost double the postnatal level (P< 0·001). Total and free 25(OH)D concentrations decreased (both P< 0·005) as pregnancy progressed, and both were lowest at 36 weeks of gestation. At 15 weeks, 10 and 63 % of the women had serum 25(OH)D concentration < 30 and 50 nmol/l, respectively, which increased to 53 and 80 % at 36 weeks of gestation. The time course of decreasing concentrations of 25(OH)D during gestation among women recruited during May–July, who delivered between October and November, and among those recruited in August–September, who delivered between February and March, was similar. The lower percentage of free 25(OH)D during pregnancy is mainly due to increased DBP.
There is increasing epidemiological evidence linking sub-optimal vitamin D status with overweight and obesity. Although increasing BMI and adiposity have also been negatively associated with the change in vitamin D status following supplementation, results have been equivocal. The aim of this randomised, placebo-controlled study was to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures of adiposity and the wintertime serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) response to 15 μg cholecalciferol per d in healthy young and older Irish adults. A total of 110 young adults (20–40 years) and 102 older adults ( ≥ 64 years) completed the 22-week intervention with >85 % compliance. The change in 25(OH)D from baseline was calculated. Anthropometric measures of adiposity taken at baseline included height, weight and waist circumference (WC), along with skinfold thickness measurements to estimate fat mass (FM). FM was subsequently expressed as FM (kg), FM (%), FM index (FMI (FM kg/height m2)) and as a percentage ratio to fat-free mass (FFM). In older adults, vitamin D status was inversely associated with BMI (kg/m2), WC (cm), FM (kg and %), FMI (kg/m2) and FM:FFM (%) at baseline (r − 0·33, − 0·36, − 0·33, − 0·30, − 0·33 and − 0·27, respectively, all P values < 0·01). BMI in older adults was also negatively associated with the change in 25(OH)D following supplementation (β − 1·27, CI − 2·37, − 0·16, P = 0·026); however, no such associations were apparent in younger adults. Results suggest that adiposity may need to be taken into account when determining an adequate wintertime dietary vitamin D intake for healthy older adults residing at higher latitudes.
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