e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy

Vitamin D is known to play an important role in bone metabolism through regulation of calcium and phosphate equilibrium. Vitamin D is produced by the body during exposure to sunlight, but is also found in oily fish, eggs and fortified food products.

Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be common among pregnant women in some populations, and has been found to be associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, preterm birth, and other tissue-specific conditions.

Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy improves maternal vitamin D status and may positively affect the availability of vitamin D to the fetus. However, the evidence currently available to directly assess the benefits and harms of the use of vitamin D supplementation alone in pregnancy for improving maternal and infant health outcomes is limited.

Pregnant women should be encouraged to receive adequate nutrition, which is best achieved through consumption of a healthy balanced diet.

WHO recommendations

Due to the limited evidence currently available to directly assess the benefits and harms of the use of vitamin D supplementation alone in pregnancy for improving maternal and infant health outcomes, the use of this intervention during pregnancy as part of routine antenatal care is not recommended.

WHO Documents


GRC-approved guidelines

Evidence


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials
Share

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Implementation

Implementation of this intervention is not recommended