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Extremely low vitamin D in mother: early birth and low weight in children, mortality in mice – Sept 2014

Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency and Fetal Programming - Lessons Learned from Humans and Mice

Kidney Blood Press Res 2014;39:315-329 39, (DOI:10.1159/000355809)
Reichetzeder C.a · Chen H.b · Föller M.b · Slowinski T.c · Li J.d · Chen Y.-P.e · Lang F.b · Hocher B.a
A Institute of Nutritional Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam-Rehbrücke;
B Department of Physiology, University of Tübingen;
C Department of Nephrology, Campus Mitte, Charité, Berlin, Germany;
D Department of Clinical Medicine, Medical college of Hunan Normal University, Changsha;
E Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University of Guangzhou, China

Background/Aims: Cardiovascular disease partially originates from poor environmental and nutritional conditions in early life. Lack of micronutrients like 25 hydroxy vitamin D3 (25OHD) during pregnancy may be an important treatable causal factor. The present study explored the effect of maternal 25OHD deficiency on the offspring.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational study analyzing the association of maternal 25OHD deficiency during pregnancy with birth outcomes considering confounding. To show that vitamin D deficiency may be causally involved in the observed associations, mice were set on either 25OHD sufficient or insufficient diets before and during pregnancy. Growth, glucose tolerance and mortality was analyzed in the F1 generation.

Results: The clinical study showed that severe 25OHD deficiency was associated with low birth weight and low gestational age. ANCOVA models indicated that established confounding factors such as offspring sex, smoking during pregnancy and maternal BMI did not influence the impact of 25OHD on birth weight. However, there was a significant interaction between 25OHD and gestational age. Maternal 25OHD deficiency was also independently associated with low APGAR scores 5 minutes postpartum. The offspring of 25OHD deficient mice grew slower after birth, had an impaired glucose tolerance shortly after birth and an increased mortality during follow-up.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates an association between maternal 25OHD and offspring birth weight. The effect of 25OHD on birth weight seems to be mediated by vitamin D controlling gestational age. Results from an animal experiment suggest that gestational 25OHD insufficiency is causally linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Since birth weight and prematurity are associated with an adverse cardiovascular outcome in later life, this study emphasizes the need for novel monitoring and treatment guidelines of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy.

© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

Extremely low vitamin D is < 1 nmol

Mothers with extremely low vitamin D levels were very short


Extremely low vitamin D level : births were low weight and early


20% of mice pups born from low D mothers died within 50 days


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Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
4418 Mice born with low D died.jpg admin 26 Sep, 2014 21:30 23.06 Kb 838
4417 Birth weight and age F2.jpg admin 26 Sep, 2014 21:30 32.43 Kb 747
4416 Maternal Height.jpg admin 26 Sep, 2014 21:29 20.02 Kb 750
4415 Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency.pdf PDF 2014 admin 26 Sep, 2014 21:29 1.46 Mb 1020