Many individuals have been calling for increased recognition of the vitamin D deficiency epidemic in Western countries due to sun avoidance, but have not been heeded by mainstream health authorities.

This editorial in Australia's premier medical journal brings to the fore the issue of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, a critical issue for the development of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, among other diseases.

Prominent Australian endocrinologist Professor Peter Ebeling, in commenting on a paper published in this week's issue of the MJA showing that 41% of pregnant women screened were deficient in vitamin D (at the very conservative level of 50 nmol/L or less), called for routing screening for vitamin D in pregnancy.

More importantly he argued that Australian authorities may need to alter the regulations that currently do not allow higher dose cheap supplements of vitamin D such as those available freely in the US and Europe via the internet.

Women with MS who are pregnant or planning pregnancy should not stop their vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy as is sometimes mistakenly advised. 

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