Around seventy percent of pregnant women do not have sufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a new study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This is in spite of the frequent use of prenatal vitamins. “We already know Vitamin D is important for bone health of the mother and infant, but we are just starting to scratch the surface about the many potential health benefits of Vitamin D during pregnancy,” Explained Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, from University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, lead author of the study. “Prenatal vitamins do help raise vitamin D levels, but many women start taking them after becoming pregnant. Although research is ongoing, I think it’s best for women to start a few months before becoming pregnant to maximize the likely health benefits,” explained Ginde. The reports suggests that women with dark skin, who live in northern latitudes with low sunlight levels, or who cover their skin for religious reasons are at particular risk of being vitamin D deficient. The deficiency is a wide spread problem that is believed to be largely due to the limited amount of time spent outdoors, where the human body can naturally produce the correct amounts of vitamin D.