Maternal vitamin D status and calcium intake interact to affect fetal skeletal growth in utero in pregnant adolescents

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 04/2012; 95(5):1103-12. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.111.023861
Source: PubMed


Maternal calcium intake and vitamin D status may affect fetal bone development.
This study was designed to examine relations between maternal calcium intake, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] status, and fetal bone growth across pregnancy.
This was a prospective longitudinal design. Maternal 25(OH)D, parathyroid hormone, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)(2)D] were determined at midgestation (∼26 wk) and at delivery in 171 adolescents (≤ 18 y). Dietary recalls and fetal sonograms were performed up to 3 times across gestation, and fetal femur and humerus z scores were generated.
Fetal femur and humerus z scores and neonatal birth length were significantly greater (P < 0.03) in adolescents consuming ≥ 1050 mg than in those consuming <1050 mg Ca/d. Maternal 25(OH)D > 50 nmol/L was significantly positively associated with fetal femur and humerus z scores (P < 0.01). When maternal smoking, height, race, weight gain, and gestational age were controlled for, these relations remained significant. Interactions between calcium intake and 25(OH)D were evident. Calcium intake was associated with fetal femur z scores and birth length only when maternal 25(OH)D was ≤ 50 nmol/L (P < 0.05). Similarly, maternal 25(OH)D was associated with fetal femur and humerus z scores only when maternal calcium intake was <1050 mg/d (P < 0.03).
Optimal calcium intake and adequate maternal vitamin D status are both needed to maximize fetal bone growth. Interactions between these nutrients were evident when either calcium or vitamin D status was limited. Improving maternal calcium intake and/or vitamin D status during pregnancy may have a positive effect on fetal skeletal development in pregnant adolescents.

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