The Role of Vitamin D in the Development of Diabetes Post Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Literature Review

Nutrients. 2020 Jun 10;12(6):1733. doi: 10.3390/nu12061733.


Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are more likely to later develop diabetes. Evidence from some previous reviews suggests that low vitamin D status during pregnancy increases the risk of developing GDM, but whether vitamin D during pregnancy also influences the risk of diabetes post GDM is less well studied. Thus, the aim of this systematic literature review was to summarize the current available literature on that topic. This review considered observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Five databases were searched. The risk of bias of the included studies was assessed. A total of six studies were included: three observational studies and three RCTs. Findings were inconsistent across the six included studies. However, when considering RCTs only, the findings more strongly suggested that vitamin D supplementation during and after pregnancy did not have an influence on markers of diabetes development or diabetes development post GDM. This systematic review highlights inconsistent findings on the associations between vitamin D supplementation or concentration during and after pregnancy and markers of diabetes development or diabetes development post GDM; and although results from randomized interventional studies more strongly suggested no associations, the conclusion holds a high degree of uncertainty.

Keywords: gestational diabetes; type 2 diabetes; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Diabetes, Gestational*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Negative Results*
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D