Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy reduces mite sensitization in infants

Mothers who take high doses of vitamin D during pregnancy reduce sensitization of their infants to mites at 18 months.
Mothers who take high doses of vitamin D during pregnancy reduce sensitization of their infants to mites at 18 months.

Use of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and infancy reduces the number of children sensitized to mites at 18 months of age, according to research published in Allergy.

Cameron C Grant, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Child & Youth Health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which they analyzed the results of vitamin D use during pregnancy. Pregnant women were followed from 27-week gestation to birth to 6 months, and assigned to receive either a placebo, 1000 IU/400 IU of vitamin D, or 2000 IU/800 IU of vitamin D.

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At 18 months, the researchers measured serum-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in 71% of 260 enrolled children, and recorded acute primary care visits due to a cold, otitis media, upper respiratory infection, croup, asthma, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, wheezy lower respiratory infection, or fever and cough.

The researchers found that the infants were sensitized to 4 different types of mite antigens: Dermatophagoides farina (Der-f1, Der-f2) and Dermatophagoides pteronyssiunus (Der-p1, Der-p2). For the 4 antigens, the proportion of children sensitized for placebo, low-dose, and high-dose vitamin D were: Der-f1 (18%, 10%, 2%), Der-f2 (15%, 2%, 2%). Der-p1 (19%, 14%, 3%), and Der-p2 (12%, 2%, 3%).

“Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and infancy reduces the proportion of children sensitized to mites at age 18 months,” concluded Dr Grant. “Preliminary data indicate a possible effect on primary care visits where asthma is diagnosed.”

Reference

  1. Grant CC, Crane J, Mitchell EA, et al. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and infancy reduces aeroallergen sensitization: a randomized controlled trial. Allergy. 2016; doi: 10.1111/all.12909
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