[Unfounded recommendations for vitamin D supplementation in pregnant and breastfeeding women]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001 Sep 1;145(35):1700-1.
[Article in Dutch]


In 2000, the Health Council of the Netherlands produced new dietary reference values for the intake of several vitamins, including vitamin D. These stated that pregnant and breast-feeding women without usual exposure to sunlight should consume at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, while for women who were exposed to sunlight 7.5 micrograms daily would be sufficient. Because the mean intake through food is about 3 micrograms daily, the Health Council recommendations imply that all these women should take additional vitamin D. However, the recommendations are not evidence-based. Relevant clinical benefits of vitamin D supplementation in pregnant or breast-feeding women, such as increased bone mass and a reduced fracture risk for mother or child, have never been shown and, given the robust capacity of the skin to produce vitamin D under the influence of ultraviolet light, are rather improbable. Therefore, the intake of extra vitamin D by pregnant and breast-feeding women is unnecessary if they are regularly outside with at least their face and hands uncovered.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control*


  • Vitamin D