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Vitamin D plays minimal role in prevention of gestational diabetes

Vitamin D plays minimal role in prevention of gestational diabetes

DELHI: Refuting the claims of previous studies that vitamin D supplementation is beneficial for the prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition has found a minimal impact of vitamin D on GDM at 35-37 weeks.

Vitamin D deficiency is thought to increase the risk of GDM, Rosa Corcoy, Department of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues conducted this DALI vitamin D multicenter study to test vitamin D supplementation as a strategy to reduce GDM risk (evaluated after fasting plasma glucose (FPG), insulin resistance and weight gain) in pregnant overweight/obese women.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a condition in which a woman develops high blood sugar levels due to impaired glucose metabolism during pregnancy. GDM predisposes the fetus to various adverse effects. Moreover, GDM increases the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

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The present study enrolled women with prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) ≥ 29 kg/m2, ≤19 + 6 weeks of gestation and without GDM. They were randomized to receive 1600 IU/day vitamin D3 or placebo (each with or without lifestyle intervention) on top of (multi)vitamins supplements. The women were then assessed for vitamin D status (sufficiency defined as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) ≥ 50 nmol/l), FPG, insulin resistance and weight at baseline, 24–28 and 35–37 weeks. Linear or logistic regression analyses were performed to assess intervention effects.

Also Read: Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy increases risk of gestational diabetes

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They found that:

  • Average baseline serum 25(OH)D was ≥50 nmol/l across all study sites.
  • In the vitamin D intervention arm (n = 79), 97% of participants achieved target serum vitamin 25(OH)D (≥50 nmol/l) at 24–28 weeks and 98% at 35–37 weeks vs 74% and 78% respectively in the placebo arm (n = 75).
  • A small but significantly lower FPG (−0.14 mmol/l; CI95 −0.28, −0.00) was observed at 35–37 weeks with the vitamin D intervention without any additional difference in metabolic status, perinatal outcomes or adverse event rates.

Also Read: Vitamin D and probiotics improve metabolic status in gestational diabetes

“In the DALI vitamin D trial, supplementation with 1600 IU vitamin D3/day achieved vitamin D sufficiency in virtually all pregnant women and a small effect in FPG at 35–37 weeks. The potential of vitamin D supplementation for GDM prevention in vitamin D sufficient populations appears to be limited,” concluded the authors.

For complete study log on to

Source: With inputs from Clinical Nutrition

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  1. It is not enough to document only the fasting glucose values. GDM testing should be done after glucose challenge as per recommended protocols in mid trimester. This study may have missed several cases of diabetes in PREGNANCY

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