Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Choline - A Neglected Nutrient Vital for Healthy Brains - BOOK HERE

Vitamin D supplementation for women during pregnancy

Palacios C, Kostiuk LK, Peña‐Rosas JP (2019) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  2019 July, 7;  CD008873. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008873.pub4. 

Web URL: Read the research on here



Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may be needed to protect against adverse pregnancy outcomes. This is an update of a review that was first published in 2012 and then in 2016.

We included 30 trials (7033 women) across three separate comparisons. Our GRADE assessments ranged from moderate to very low, with downgrading decisions based on limitations in study design, imprecision and indirectness.


To examine whether vitamin D supplementation alone or in combination with calcium or other vitamins and minerals given to women during pregnancy can safely improve maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Search methods

For this update, we searched Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth’s Trials Register (12 July 2018), contacted relevant organisations (15 May 2018), reference lists of retrieved trials and registries at and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (12 July 2018). Abstracts were included if they had enough information to extract the data.

Supplementing pregnant women with vitamin D alone probably reduces the risk of pre‐eclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birthweight and may reduce the risk of severe postpartum haemorrhage. It may make little or no difference in the risk of having a preterm birth < 37 weeks' gestation. Supplementing pregnant women with vitamin D and calcium probably reduces the risk of pre‐eclampsia but may increase the risk of preterm births < 37 weeks (these findings warrant further research). Supplementing pregnant women with vitamin D and other nutrients may make little or no difference in the risk of preterm birth < 37 weeks' gestation or low birthweight (less than 2500 g). Additional rigorous high quality and larger randomised trials are required to evaluate the effects of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy, particularly in relation to the risk of maternal adverse events.