Vitamin D and pregnancy outcomes

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Dec;26(6):438-47. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000117.


Purpose of review: This article presents an overview of the most recent scientific evidence of the role of maternal vitamin D on pregnancy outcomes, with a particular emphasis on those articles in the English-language literature published between 1 January 2013 and 1 July 2014 in PubMed.

Recent findings: Low levels of vitamin D status, as measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], are common in pregnant women. Meta-analysis of observational studies has demonstrated positive associations between vitamin D status and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, preterm birth and small-for-gestational age. There was heterogeneity among studies in terms of design, population, geographic location, definitions of exposure and outcome, gestational age at sampling, confounding factors and approach to analyses. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) indicate that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy optimizes maternal and neonatal vitamin D status.

Summary: Recent evidence supports that low maternal vitamin D status is associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Interventional studies demonstrate that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy optimizes maternal and neonatal vitamin D status. Large, well designed, multicentre RCTs are required to determine whether vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women with low vitamin D status reduces the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2 / blood
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / etiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / epidemiology
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / etiology
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / prevention & control
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications / diet therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Premature Birth / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diet therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2
  • Calcifediol