Research Highlight

Vital vitamin

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.286 Published online 4 September 2009

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A recent survey among pregnant rural north Indian women highlights a long standing issue of deficiency of Vitamin D and suggests an ideal dose for them1.

Hypovitaminosis D (deficiency of vitamin D) is common in both urban and rural India. However, the ideal dose for deficiency treatment during pregnancy has been unclear.

The researchers studied the effect of vitamin D supplements (cholecalciferol found in fish liver oil) during routine checks of mothers-to-be. They gave one group of pregnant women no cholecalciferol at all. Two other groups were administered varying doses in the fifth and seventh gestational months.

The group which received 120,000 units each in the fifth and seventh gestational months showed the best results in combating vitamin D deficiency.

The study zeroes in on the ideal dose for pregnant women suffering from the widespread problem of vitamin D deficiency.

The authors of this work are from: Department of Endocrinology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Queen Mary's Hospital, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India.


  1. Sahu, M. et al. Vitamin D replacement in pregnant women in rural north India: a pilot study. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 63, 1157-1159 (2009) | Article |