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Numerous studies back up the understanding that preterm birth is detrimental to child development affecting the eyes, ears, brain, lungs, digestive, and immune systems. A recent study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology has correlated an increased risk of preterm birth with deficiencies in Vitamin D. Though the data does not yet prove a direct cause and effect relationship, there is a notable increase in preterm birth risk.
Vitamin D is essential to the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, muscles, and nerves. Exposure to sunlight and a few foods help the body to produce the necessary Vitamin D. Current recommendations for pregnant women indicate that 600 IU of Vitamin D is a target daily level.
Reviewing thousands of pregnancies over a 10 year time span, it was found that Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of preterm birth by 1.5 times. However, researchers are not recommending that women start taking additional supplements to correct this deficit. The strongest recommendation included taking a prenatal vitamin, which is recommended for pregnant women. Most of these, such as One A Day Women's Prenatal, include Vitamin D (400IU).