Customized Vitamin Supplements

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Pregnant women might need to customize their supplements of vitamin D, according to a study from the University of Southampton. In the Maternal Vitamin D Osteoporosis Study (MAVIDOX), a multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy, more than 800 pregnant women were recruited and randomized to take either 1,000 Units (25 micrograms) of vitamin D every day or a placebo. Supplementation lasted from week 14 of gestation to delivery. Results showed that women who received the supplements achieved different blood levels of vitamin D, despite receiving the same daily dose. Women who delivered their babies in the summer, who gained less weight during pregnancy, and who had higher vitamin D levels at the start of their pregnancies tended to have higher vitamin D blood levels compared to those women who delivered in the winter, had lower vitamin D levels to being with, or who gained more weight during pregnancy. The researchers conclude that supplement levels should be tailored to individual risk factors, since this vitamin is important in bone and muscle development and health.

In a study from the University of Helsinki, researchers found that while vitamin E supplements increased pneumonia risk in men who smoked and did not exercise, the same vitamin reduced risk in men who did not smoke and exercised, suggesting that this vitamin supplement also should be customized to a person’s lifestyle.

Moon R, Harvey N, Cooper C, et al: Determinants of the maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D response to vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2016; October 27th.

Hemila H: Vitamin E and the risk of pneumonia. British Journal of Nutrition 2016; 2016; October 26th.

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