Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Introduction: Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy has been linked to many health outcomes in mother and offspring. A wealth of observational studies have reported on both obstetric outcomes and complications, including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, mode and timing of delivery. Many foetal and childhood outcomes are also linked to vitamin D status, including measures of foetal size, body composition and skeletal mineralization, in addition to later childhood outcomes, such as asthma. Sources of data: Synthesis of systematic and narrative reviews. Areas of agreement and controversy: The findings are generally inconsistent in most areas, and, at present, there is a lack of data from high-quality intervention studies to confirm a causal role for vitamin D in these outcomes. In most areas, the evidence tends towards maternal vitamin D being of overall benefit, but often does not reach statistical significance in meta-analyses. Growing points and areas timely for developing research: The most conclusive evidence is in the role of maternal vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of neonatal hypocalcaemia; as a consequence the UK department of health recommends that pregnant women take 400 IU vitamin D daily. High-quality randomized placebo-controlled trials, such as the UK-based MAVIDOS trial, will inform the potential efficacy and safety of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy across a variety of outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Br med bull

Publication Date





57 - 77