Wellbeing of Women is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with Vitabiotics Pregnacare.
The UK’s No.1 vitamin company is supporting us in our mission to help save and improve the lives of women and babies, by funding medical research to find better cures and treatments.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in many people throughout the world, but particularly in pregnant women. Now, for the first time, Wellbeing of Women doctors are researching what this means for the mother and baby.
Dr Jennifer Tamblyn, at the University of Birmingham, has discovered that vitamin D plays an important role in keeping the placenta, which supplies the baby with vital nutrients, healthy.
The study has shown that immune cells in the placenta respond to the vitamin and where there is a deficiency the placenta doesn’t function properly.
When the placenta isn’t working effectively women can experience complications such as preeclampsia, miscarriage and premature birth, leading to the suggestion that a simple vitamin D supplement could be as important as taking folic acid for the health of the baby. It was a very early grant from Wellbeing of Women in the 60’s that helped identify how important folic acid supplementation is for the development of the unborn baby.
Professor Martin Hewison who oversaw the latest vitamin D work said: ” This is unique research. For the first we are focusing on how important Vitamin D is for the health of the mother and baby by establishing the important role it plays in controlling the function of the placenta. We knew that taking Vitamin D in later pregnancy was important for the development of the foetal skeleton, but we now believe taking vitamin D supplements very early in pregnancy, or possibly even before conception, could help protect against pre-eclampsia and possibly other pregnancy complications, such as growth restriction and even miscarriage.”
Vitabiotics Senior Vice President, Robert Taylor, said: “Pregnacare is delighted to support Wellbeing of Women, whose work is so important for the health of women and babies everywhere. Dr Tamblyn’s research is truly ground breaking and may revolutionise our understanding of the importance of vitamin D for the placenta and the health of both baby and mother.”
The Vitabiotics Pregnacare range is the leading choice for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.
With this vital support Wellbeing of Women can invest in more research projects that will enable more women to have healthy pregnancies, fight gynaecological cancers and enjoy a better quality of life.
Tina Weaver, CEO of Wellbeing of Women, said: “We are grateful to Vitabiotics Pregnacare for recognising the importance of research in delivering improved treatments and outcomes for women and babies. We are very excited by Dr Jennifer Tamblyn’s unique work. Pre-eclampsia is a common but serious life-threatening pregnancy condition and this work is pointing towards a simple Vitamin D supplement being able to help prevent it. It would be wonderful if this research leads to establishing that something as simple as a vitamin supplement could help the millions of women who suffer from this and other conditions like miscarriage and preterm birth.”
This has been the first ever study of Vitamin D upon immune cells in the placenta and further information will be available following peer review publications of Dr Tamblyn’s research.
* Vitabiotics Pregnacare generously supported this work through the charity Wellbeing of Women, which independently selected the research through its peer review process. Vitabiotics Pregnacare played no role in the conception, design, execution or analysis of this research study