Pay Attention to Calcium and Vitamin D Intake to Avoid Preeclampsia

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Preeclampsia, or poisoning during pregnancy, is still one of the most common causes of maternal and child mortality in the world. Preeclampsia is characterized by changes in blood pressure. In most cases, after 20 weeks of pregnancy blood pressure becomes higher accompanied by varied symptoms.

The mortality rate caused by preeclampsia is one and a half times greater in developing countries compared to developed countries. In Indonesia, preeclampsia was the most common cause of maternal death after hemorrhaging in 2013. Based on data from the RSUD Dr. Soetomo in 2013-2014, almost one in three maternal deaths was caused by preeclampsia.

However, until now how preeclampsia happen is still not fully understood. The only rescue procedure considered to be the safest is giving birth to a baby and removing the placenta from the uterus. Through a research, dr. Firas Farisi Alkaff, a lecturer of Faculty of Medicine UNAIR said that there were several factors suspected to have a role in preeclampsia: genetic; behavior; and mother’s nutritional intake.

“Pregnant women should pay attention to nutritional intake both before and during pregnancy because this is very important for mothers and fetuses,” he said.

Based on previous research, there is a fact is that lack of vitamin D and calcium minerals can increase the risk of preeclampsia. That statement was confirmed by Firas through his research. The results showed that calcium levels in pregnant women with preeclampsia are much different compared to pregnant women without preeclampsia.

“Pregnant women with preeclampsia have calcium levels below normal, while pregnant women without preeclampsia have calcium levels in the blood above normal values,” he explained.

However, from research conducted by Firas, it is known that the levels of vitamin D in pregnant women with preeclampsia and without preeclampsia are not much different. That is because both are equally below normal values.

In pregnant women, he continued, calcium consumption increased especially in the second and third trimesters. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends giving calcium as much as 1.5-2grams a day to all pregnant women with low calcium intake. Giving calcium supplementation was proven to be able to reduce the incidence of preeclampsia drastically.

“Lack of vitamin D in pregnant women can increase risk for preeclampsia in pregnant women when it is very far below normal values,” he explained. “If vitamin D levels are low, vitamin D supplementation is not enough to prevent preeclampsia,” he added.

To prevent preeclampsia, he continued, it can be done by improving nutrition intake. According to him, from the nutrients in food, more attention needs to be paid to the amount of calcium and vitamin D.

“If the intake of calcium and vitamin D in food is not sufficient for daily needs, it is necessary to take calcium and vitamin D supplements every day,” he concluded. (*)

Author: Erika Eight Novanty

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Link                  : https://www.jcdr.net/article_fulltext.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2019&month=March&volume=13&issue=3&page=QC04-QC07&id=12667

Reference       : Akbar MIA, Alkaff FF, Harsono AAH, Imawan DK, Klahan Y, Nugraha RA, Octora TN, Jonatan M (2019). Serum Calcium and 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Level in Normal and Early Onset Pre-eclamptic Pregnant Women: A Study from Indonesia. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 13(3): QC04 – QC07.

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