e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy for the prevention of pre-eclampsia

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.

Hypertensive disorders* such as pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are among the main causes of maternal deaths and preterm births, especially in low-income countries. Preterm births are the leading cause of early neonatal deaths and infant mortality, and survivors are at higher risk of respiratory disease and long-term neurological morbidity.

Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy improves maternal vitamin D status and may therefore be expected to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, however limited evidence indicates that vitamin D supplementation does not reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia.

*disorders in which blood pressure is elevated

WHO recommendations

Vitamin D supplementation is not recommended during pregnancy to prevent the development of pre-eclampsia and its complications.

WHO documents


GRC-approved guidelines

Evidence


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

10 October 2014 12:42 CEST

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Implementation

Implementation of this intervention is not recommended