Pennsylvanian researchers are first who managed to examine the role of vitamin D in preventing life-threatening condition pre-eclampsia, characterized by soaring blood pressure, that occurs during pregnancy in as many as 7 % of first pregnancies and may lead to eclampsia that causes seizures and often fatal complications of the liver, kidneys, lungs, blood and nervous system.

What the researchers showed actually was that deficiency of this vitamin may lead to the condition.

Epidemiologists studied blood samples of women and newborns early in pregnancy and just before delivery. Feefteen women who suffered pre-eclampsia were compared to 220 who did not and the results showed that although most of the women had levels of vitamin D lower than the optimum level of 80 nanomoles per liter, those who suffered pre-eclampsia had significantly lower levels. Those women whose levels were below 37.5 nanomoles per liter were five times more likely to develop the disorder.

Experts believe that women need to take 1,000 IUs per day to start increasing their vitamin levels. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will prevent pre-eclampsia but it certainly has its benefits, scientists report.