New Insights into Vitamin D

New Insights into Vitamin D



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New Insights into Vitamin D During Pregnancy, Lactation, & Early Infancy

Vitamin D is a preprohormone that has profound effects on metabolism and immune function that extend far beyond the traditional thinking of bone and calcium
metabolism. Researchers are only just beginning to understand its effects on various organ systems throughout the body-from epidemiological studies to
its actions at the cellular level. Vitamin D has been linked to inflammatory and long-latency diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,
tuberculosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and various cancers, to name a few.

In this book, the authors cover:

  • the history of vitamin D and its link with rickets
  • the discovery of vitamin D in the early twentieth century as the active component in cod liver oil that prevents rickets
  • how changes in lifestyle have led to one of the largest epidemics of nutrient deficiency beginning in the late 20th century
  • how our limited understanding about vitamin D set the stage for recommendations now associated with states of vitamin D deficiency
  • the evolving understanding of vitamin D&#39s function in the context of bone mineralization and development, and its effect on immune function
  • how that understanding has influenced our views on vitamin D requirements
  • the results of deficiency states during pregnancy and lactation
  • the implications of that deficiency during early childhood and later adult life
  • the controversies surrounding vitamin D supplementation
  • what can be done by public health officials and health care professionals to prevent vitamin D deficiency today and in the future




Authors: Carol Wagner, MD, with Sarah N. Taylor, MD and Bruce W Hollis, PhD

ISBN: 978-0-9823379-6-7

Copyright: 2010

Total Pages: 166





Alicia I

ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
October 2010 – Available at
New Insights into Vitamin D During Pregnancy, Lactation & Early Infancy
Carol L Wagner, MD with Sarah N Taylor, MD & Bruce W Hollis, PhD
Hale Publishing, 2010
164 pages, illustrated, references, index, US$24.95, softcover
Orders: Hale Publishing, LP, 1712 N Forest Ave, Amarillo, TX 79106 USA
Tel: 806-376-9900 or 800-378-1317; fax: 806-376-9901; URL:

Vitamin D has received much press relative to its link with rickets as well as with inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, long-latency diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus, and various cancers. This book provides a wealth of knowledge into this precursor to one of the most powerful hormones in the body. Written in a conversational tone, the book is a potent primer for acquiring the background and knowledge clinicians should possess when working with pregnant and lactating mothers.
The book starts with a fascinating timeline of vitamin D from the mid 1600s to the present day, followed by the discovery of the link to rickets and its presence as the active component in cod liver oil that prevents rickets. A fascinating section looks at how changes in lifestyle (e. g., use of sunscreen and keeping infants out of direct sunlight) have led to one of the largest worldwide nutrient deficiency epidemics. Vitamin D recommendations that actually set the stage for vitamin D deficiency are discussed. The authors then focus on the results of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and lactation, carrying their analysis into early childhood and later adult life. Controversies surrounding vitamin D supplementation in infants and mothers are discussed including the fears that contribute to deficiency states. Research is abundantly provided for changing the vitamin D supplementation requirements, especially since current recommendations are far too low to affect vitamin D content in human milk.
Especially pertinent to lactation consultants and maternal/child health clinicians is the chart that summarizes the new suggested vitamin D supplementation regimen for pregnant and lactating women. These recommendations are based on extensive research that is presented in the text (with 31 pages of references) and far exceed the current rate of supplementation for infants over a year old as well as pregnant and lactating women. A discussion of the prophylactic supplementation of breastfed infants compares and contrasts research on the amount of vitamin D supplement needed when the mother has not been supplemented and the infant does not receive sufficient sunlight exposure.
This book is a valuable addition to the knowledge base of all health care providers working with pregnant and lactating women.
Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC
Weston, Massachusetts USA

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