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A pharmacokinetic study was conducted to assess the biochemical dose-response and tolerability of high-dose prenatal vitamin D3 supplementation in Dhaka, Bangladesh (23°N). Pregnant women at 27-30 weeks gestation (n = 28) were randomized to 70,000 IU once + 35,000 IU/week vitamin D3 (group PH: pregnant, higher dose) or 14,000 IU/week vitamin D3 (PL: pregnant, lower dose) until delivery. A group of non-pregnant women (n = 16) was similarly administered 70,000 IU once + 35,000 IU/week for 10 weeks (NH: non-pregnant, higher-dose). Rise (∆) in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration ([25(OH)D]) above baseline was the primary pharmacokinetic outcome. Baseline mean [25(OH)D] were similar in PH and PL (35 nmol/L vs. 31 nmol/L, p = 0.34). A dose-response effect was observed: ∆[25(OH)D] at modeled steady-state was 19 nmol/L (95% CI, 1 to 37) higher in PH vs. PL (p = 0.044). ∆[25(OH)D] at modeled steady-state was lower in PH versus NH but the difference was not significant (-15 nmol/L, 95% CI -34 to 5; p = 0.13). In PH, 100% attained [25(OH)D] ≥ 50 nmol/L and 90% attained [25(OH)D] ≥ 80 nmol/L; in PL, 89% attained [25(OH)D] ≥ 50 nmol/L but 56% attained [25(OH)D] ≥ 80 nmol/L. Cord [25(OH)D] (n = 23) was slightly higher in PH versus PL (117 nmol/L vs. 98 nmol/L; p = 0.07). Vitamin D3 was well tolerated; there were no supplement-related serious adverse clinical events or hypercalcemia. In summary, a regimen of an initial dose of 70,000 IU and 35,000 IU/week vitamin D3 in the third trimester of pregnancy was non-hypercalcemic and attained [25(OH)D] ≥ 80 nmol/L in virtually all mothers and newborns. Further research is required to establish the safety of high-dose vitamin D3 in pregnancy and to determine if supplement-induced [25(OH)D] elevations lead to maternal-infant health benefits.

Citation

Daniel E Roth, Abdullah Al Mahmud, Rubhana Raqib, Evana Akhtar, Robert E Black, Abdullah H Baqui. Pharmacokinetics of high-dose weekly oral vitamin D3 supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Nutrients. 2013 Mar;5(3):788-810

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PMID: 23482056

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