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.


Additional information can be found in the guidance summary, and in the guideline under 'WHO documents' below.

WHO Documents


GRC-approved guidelines

Evidence


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials
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Last update:

13 November 2014 14:17 CET

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Implementation

Implementation of this intervention is not recommended