Effects of Vitamin D in Pregnancy on Maternal and Offspring Health-Related Outcomes

by Ella

31 May 2024 – Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with various adverse outcomes for both mothers and their offspring during pregnancy.



To summarize the findings of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the effects of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation during pregnancy on maternal and offspring health-related outcomes.



Registration: The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42022368003).


Search Strategy: Searches were conducted in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library from database inception to October 2, 2023.


Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently selected studies and extracted data on health outcomes. The methodological quality of included articles was assessed using AMSTAR 2 (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews–2).


Included Studies: 16 systematic reviews and meta-analyses were included, encompassing a total of 250,569 women.

Vitamin D Deficiency Risks:

Increased risk of preterm birth.

Increased risk of small-for-gestational-age/low birth weight infants.

Higher likelihood of recurrent miscarriage.

Increased risk of bacterial vaginosis.

Elevated risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Vitamin D Supplementation Benefits:

Increases birth weight.

Reduces risk of maternal pre-eclampsia.

Lowers risk of miscarriage.

Decreases vitamin D deficiency.

Reduces fetal or neonatal mortality.

Lowers risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in childhood.

For women with GDM, supplementation reduces risks of maternal hyperbilirubinemia, polyhydramnios, macrosomia, fetal distress, and neonatal hospitalization.


Given the association of vitamin D deficiency with adverse maternal and offspring health outcomes, monitoring vitamin D status during pregnancy is recommended, particularly for women at high risk of deficiency. Pregnant women are suggested to take more than 400 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation to prevent certain adverse outcomes.


Monitoring: Regular monitoring of vitamin D levels in pregnant women, especially those at high risk for deficiency.

Supplementation: Pregnant women should consider taking vitamin D supplements at doses exceeding 400 IU/day to mitigate the risks of adverse maternal and offspring outcomes.

Further Research: Continued research is necessary to refine guidelines and ensure optimal vitamin D levels for maternal and child health.


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